The Division of Student Success is pleased to announce the selected proposals for the
Spring 2023 Innovation Grants
Art - Peer Mentor Program
Faculty Lead: Chris Cassidy
Art students are being offered additional support in their foundational coursework through the introduction of peer mentors. Mentors have been embedded in studio courses to offer hands-on assistance and have been leading study sessions for art history courses. By ensuring students have the support necessary to develop strong foundational skills, this program is aimed at increasing overall student success and increasing retention rates in the School of Art.
Biology - Embedded BIO 111 SMART Peer Mentors
Faculty Lead: Catherine Bush
BIO 111 is a core course for Biology majors which introduces important foundational concepts. In order to ensure that students succeed in this course, and Biology courses which build off its content, SMART Mentors have been working with students to teach necessary study skills and guide them through course content. The aim of this program is to reduce DFW rates for BIO 111 and set students up for success in their future courses at UNCG.
Bryan School of Business - Necessary Conditions for Student Success
The Bryan School of Business has been developing programming intended to ensure students achieve at the highest possible level.
College of Arts and Sciences - Mindfulness at UNCG
Faculty Lead: Sarah Krive
Dr. Sarah Krive has been working to support mindful experiences for students, faculty, and staff at UNCG. This has been facilitated through the use of Koru mindfulness training, retreats, and events. Increased mindfulness on campus has the potential to ease both academic and personal strains and allow UNCG’s community to benefit from greater personal wellbeing and work-life balance. This project is designed to support academic success and increase happiness throughout the university.
Communication Studies - CST 105 Peer Guides
Faculty Lead: Jessica McCall
Through a partnership with the Speaking Center, Peer Guides have been embedded in the classroom in foundational Communication Studies courses. Peer Guides can aid students in working through challenging course content, mediate group projects, and support the development of necessary study skills. The aim of this program is to address common academic difficulties for students in order to reduce DFW rates in CST courses and give students the foundation they need to succeed throughout their time at UNCG.
Economics - Video Production for Student Engagement
Faculty Leads: Nir Eilam and Anne Royalty
The Economics Department has worked with a professional production company to create videos which showcase the diversity and strengths of their program and its faculty. They want students to understand the complex and relevant issues which they can engage with an economics degree, and the multitude of rewarding career paths open to them. These videos are also aimed at providing role models for current students, to encourage them to set goals and work towards them.
Education - SOE Academic Support Hub
Faculty Leads: Jewell Cooper and Jacqui Dozier
Passing the Praxis exam is a major milestone for education majors, and one they must complete in order to move on to the third year of their program. Many students struggle with this standardized test, and this can make it difficult for them to complete their degree. To address this issue, students are now being offered additional academic support focused on study skills and Praxis content through embedded workshops prior to the exam.
English - Alternative Academic Pathways
Faculty Leads: Heather Adams and Risa Applegarth
Writing skills are essential to success at UNCG, but many students face difficulties taking introductory courses in this area. The English faculty have crafted courses with begin halfway through the semester, as an alternative pathway for students who need to drop their English course. These courses are guided by alternative assessment methods and designed to offer students the necessary support to develop core writing skills and prepare them to complete their foundational courses with greater success.
Kinesiology - Creating a (K)Inclusive Culture
Faculty Lead: DeAnne Brooks
The Department of Kinesiology has been working to develop a cross-cohort community, which will allow the students of their small major to get to know one another and offer personal and academic support. To support the growth of this community, the department has been hosting weekly events planned in partnership with Graduate Assistants and the Kinesiology Club. These activities have helped students feel at home in the department and supported their success at UNCG.
Music Theory - Music Theory Study Hall
Faculty Lead: Ken White
Music majors must complete four music theory courses, and many consider these to be the most difficult courses of their degree. To support students in learning these complex and scaffolding theories, the department has created a Music Theory Study Hall staffed by graduate students. Mentors give students hands-on assistance which allows them to succeed in the classroom. The aim of this program is to decrease DFW rates and ensure students feel confident in their courses.
Nanoscience - Overcoming Barriers to Undergraduate Research
Faculty Lead: Eric Josephs
Undergraduates doing research with the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering have to commute between UNCG and the off-campus Gateway South Labs. This can be a major obstacle and expense for many students, most of whom have busy schedules and some of whom do not have reliable transportation. In order to ensure as many students as possible can complete high-impact research projects, funds have been dedicated to easing transportation costs and removing this barrier to access.
Nursing - Canvas Course Page Templates
Faculty Lead: Dr. Joy Pine-Thomas
Dr. Joy Pine-Thomas in the School of Nursing has been designing templates for Canvas courses, which will streamline online content delivery for both faculty and students. The aim of this project is to allow UNCG students and instructors to remain focused on academic success, without the added strain of navigating or designing websites for course access. These pages are currently being tested by faculty and students and will be made available to instructors across UNCG in the 2023-2024 academic year.
Public Health - "Lovefests" for Internship Support
Faculty Lead: Meredith Gringle
The Department of Public Health is dedicated to service to the community and places emphasis on internships and community-based projects. They have worked to develop an annual event, the Lovefest – named for a former professor - which allows students, faculty, and community partners to gather and celebrate each year. The aim of this work is to recognize significant student efforts throughout the year and to ensure that community partners feel included and valued by the department and its community in support of future partnerships.
Psychology - Curriculum Redesign
Faculty Lead: Jessica Caporaso
A 1-credit introductory Psychology course has been restructured into a 3-credit course which will support the development of academic skills and prepare students to complete their major at UNCG while setting long-term career goals. The course emphasizes the wide variety of careers open to psychology graduates and will introduce guest speakers from these areas. Overall, the aim of this redesign is to support student success and decrease DFW rates in core psychology courses.