News & Announcements

Schreyer Honors College Request for Proposal: Assessment Plan Development

Intent to submit deadline: February 8, 2018
Submission deadline: March 9, 2018 Total funding available: $50,000
Anticipated Number of Awards: 1 Award duration: 12 months

The Schreyer Honors College (SHC) is pleased to issue a request for proposals to develop an assessment plan including: performing analyses to support Schreyer Honors College (SHC) decision-making through university data systems to develop and apply in-depth analyses regarding admissions and Honors education, resource utilization and organizational performance, and the impact of change on the organization. The project must be consistent with endowment guidelines, under which funds are used to support the Schreyer Honors College. The SHC project funds are to be used to support the development of the plan and not for the implementation of the plan.

The project of particular interest will be developing the assessment plan including qualitative and quantitative metrics, surveys, a basis for longitudinal studies, and identify the specific relevant data that will enable the SHC Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to evaluate the Honors education to ensure Scholars are embracing the SHC Mission.

The Principal Investigator on the project must be a faculty member located at University Park.

If you intend to submit a proposal, please notify Michelle Powers by email by February 8. The deadline for the proposal is March 9. If you have any questions regarding the proposal, please contact Keefe Manning, SHC Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.


  • Five pages maximum plus budget/budget justification and letter of departmental support
  • Submit as a single pdf file to Michelle Powers
  • Proposal should include the following:
    • Project Goals
    • Brief Summary of Related Literature
    • Project Description
    • Conceptual Assessment Plan
      • Detailed assessment design will be done in collaboration with SHC staff.
  • Implementation plan
  • Project Timeline
  • Justification of budget request
  • Letter of Departmental Support


  • Project start date should be May 15, 2018 and budget broken down by fiscal year
  • Fringe benefits must be included for salaries and indirect costs should not be included
  • Allowable expenses:
    • Faculty support
    • Materials & supplies
  • Non-allowable expenses:
    • Equipment
    • Facilities construction or improvements
    • Software/IT-based services
    • Student support


  • Quality of project concept and plan
  • Degree of alignment of the project goals with SHC academics
  • Alignment between project plan and budget
  • Readily implementable

2018 Lilly Conference on College Teaching will be held in Bethesda, Maryland May 31-June 3

Apply for a Schreyer Institute Lilly travel grant to attend. Lacey Wallace, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Penn State Altoona, did so and came away with valuable teaching information and tools. Lacey said:

"One of my persistent struggles in the classroom is keeping students engaged for the full class period. I attended Don Mesibov's* workshop at the Lilly conference hoping I could pick up a trick or two to try in some of my classes. I was shocked to discover that Don had dozens of tried-and-true strategies and activities. I would have driven 1,000 miles for that workshop alone! I can't wait to try out some of these activities in my classes this year."

Priority is given to Penn State faculty who are presenting research/evidence-based strategies. Want to present? Submit your Lilly proposal by February 15, 2018.

*Mesibov, Don (2016). Motivating Students to Want What You Want Them to Learn.

A quick tip from The Chronicle of Higher Education's Teaching Newsletter

January 11, 2018

Cathy Davidson, a professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, recently shared some tips from her "active-learning kit." One tool for encouraging participation is something she describes as "Exit Tickets." It works like this: Three minutes before the end of class, she asks students: "What topic did we raise today that is going to keep you up tonight? If nothing, what should we have asked that would keep you thinking into the night?" They must write their answers, in full sentences, on a Google Doc or index card, and sign their names. "It makes for deeper reading for the next class," says Ms. Davidson, author of The New Education.

Visit The Chronicle's Teaching Newsletter to read the full article, "Why You Should Ask Students to Help Design Courses," and to find additional teaching tips and resources.

Social Justice Fellowship in Washington, D.C.

The "D.C. Social Justice Fellowship" is a two-part, community-embedded experience for undergraduate students at Penn State, with three credits obtained in the spring and one in a two-week Maymester teaching Practicum in Washington, D.C. The Fellowship is a partnership with the Office of Multicultural Programs in the College of Education, Georgetown University Law Center, and D.C. Public Schools in Washington D.C. This unique collaboration supports the realization of our university's diversity goals and strategic plan, and builds students' cultural competency while living and working within multicultural workplaces and social environments. This curricular experience infuses diversity issues and perspectives into an undergraduate course that focuses on the skill set necessary for effective advocacy in educational equity and social justice in education. It is a hands-on experience that delivers a service learning opportunity for Penn State students to work with marginalized communities in the District of Columbia.

To effectuate change, students must learn to examine existing policies and use that understanding to propose solutions to complex problems, engage communities, and inspire others to advocate for change. This is the impetus for the program. This educational experience is designed to build understanding, experience, and fluency in cross-cultural competencies by working with high school students in Washington, D.C. It helps undergraduate students—which we refer to as "fellows" in the program—build impactful relationships that help them critically examine and apply theories of advocacy and social justice in education. Through a teaching and community engagement, fellows learn to thrive in multicultural settings that bridge theory with practice.

The spring phase of the course is entitled "D.C. Social Justice Seminar: Empowering & Engaging Communities through Education" and is the required preparatory training for the Maymester practicum. In the class, fellows examine issues of social justice, educational equity, and advocacy in the classroom, and learn how to teach about a self-selected, researched topic in social justice. The fellows select a topic of interest in social justice, research the topic, and design learner-centered curriculum materials that use interactive teaching methods.

This phase engages fellows on issues of social justice in education using methods they will use as instructors in D.C. Through academic discourse, action research, workshops, mentor conferences, and stakeholder meetings, fellows learn about marginalized communities, justice education, and advocacy. Fellows work collaboratively to critically examine issues in education, curriculum, law, and social structures with the goal of formulating cooperative solutions.

The Maymester phase is a practicum course conducted in Washington, D.C entitled, "Justice Fellowship: Teaching and Advocacy in Education". During this stage, the fellows work to develop a capstone initiative with civic leaders, educators, and faculty while teaching youth advocacy to high school students in seven different high schools around the city. The fellows continue their exploration of issues on social justice by teaching customized lessons (designed in the spring course) to the high school students and attending evening workshops hosted at Georgetown Law. They engage in service projects, curricular events, and learning forums that continue the growth begun in the spring phase that encourages the development of a civic-minded outlook to transformational leadership and, through civil discourse and practice, investigate and address social and educational injustice. The fellows participate in workshops conducted by professionals, activists, educators, and policy makers in the nation's capital and learn how to anticipate and tackle barriers to social change and educational equity.

In addition to teaching responsibilities while in D.C., fellows consult with civic leaders to explore research queries. In preparation for that experience, fellows design a civic action plan that is evaluated by a panel of stakeholders while in Washington, D.C. Throughout the experience, fellows receive one-on-one support from faculty, graduate mentors, and stakeholders in designing their lessons and civic action plans.

The fellows overwhelmingly described the course as a formative, life-changing experience. The fellowship challenges them to confront biases, think critically, analyze different sides of an argument and embrace diversity and growing pains. The coursework provides civic leadership and pedagogical training that examines issues of inequity affecting marginalized communities and models the development of varied, engaging curriculum materials in preparation for a social justice teaching experience. Not only do fellows gain an understanding of the varied approaches to address community needs, but a practical, hands-on experience in community organizing, education advocacy, and social justice work in education. With the support from the communities they serve, fellows are empowered to take informed action to local, national, and even global scales.

Another primary interest of this project is to establish a program that yields education- and community-based leadership with a commitment to social justice. Fellows not only looked at historical and contemporary influences, but they also examined how personal and societal decisions are made based upon actual and perceived identities. They guide the high school students to unpack their privileges and biases and identify how privilege and bias have helped shape laws and policies. High school students are also challenged to brainstorm solutions that help effectuate micro- and macro-level change.

The fellows use discovery-based, democratic learning to hook the interest of their D.C. high school students and create a space that welcomes ideas, thought and critical reflection. The high schoolers are drawn into the lesson by an approach that allows their lived experiences to serve as the catalysts for learning. Rather than leading with the content, the fellows allow the content to emerge through interactions and discussions incited by cleverly designed simulations and activities.

Efrain Marimon, Instructor of Education in the College of Education, designed the program in 2015 and now serves as its director. He is also working with Dr. Ashley Patterson, Assistant Professor in Language, Culture, and Society and co-instructor of the course, to research the lasting impacts of the program on learner identities and educational experiences. They intend for the research to produce scholarship that will inform the hundreds of civic education programs around the world and supply educators (particularly those in secondary and higher education) with a blueprint for how they can, and convincingly demonstrate why they should, implement similar models.

The response to the program by teachers, high school students, and administrators in Washington, D.C. has been overwhelmingly positive. The fellowship has also garnered a lot of attention from students in colleges across campus: In the last two years, hundreds have expressed interest in or applied for the program and more that 50% of applicants for the fellowship came from outside the College of Education. The fellowship also has also attracted a very diverse group of students from many walks of life. In 2017, the costs for the fellowship were covered from a grant from the Equal Opportunity Planning Committee (EOPC), the College of Education, and the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. While EOPC and the College of Education supported funding for housing, food, and administration, and Schreyer's funding provided for the development curriculum materials for the program, supervisory and programmatic support for fellows, and curricular events for the fellows while in Washington, D.C.

Now accepting proposals for EOPC funding: diversity initiatives

The Equal Opportunity Planning Committee (EOPC) supports and advances the University’s strategic plan (see, “fostering and embracing a diverse world”) with investments in your programs and ideas.

You can learn more about EOPC at

Funding from EOPC is intended to provide seed money for innovative pilot programs and existing initiatives that create and support a climate of equity throughout Penn State.

EOPC Deadlines

Educational Equity will review proposal drafts in advance of submission deadlines and provide feedback (with a two week turn-around) as many times as possible or desired in advance of the deadlines:

Summer 2018 programs

  • Application deadline: December 15, 2017
  • Award notification by EOPC: February 15, 2018
  • Evaluation deadline: September 15, 2018

Academic Year 2018–19 programs

  • Application deadline: January 23, 2018
  • Award notification by EOPC: March 13, 2018
  • Evaluation deadline: July 10, 2019

EOPC proposal writing training and resources

Please visit the Box link with resources from the EOPC training session as well as other helpful information.

EOPC contacts in Educational Equity

All questions about EOPC can be directed to Sonia DeLuca Fernández or Holly Sterner in Educational Equity. Please include “EOPC” in the subject line of all email communications.

SRTEs Go Mobile!

This semester students can choose to submit SRTEs using the new mobile friendly web version for phones and tablets. No app download is necessary, upon sign-in students will see this option when they have active SRTEs to complete. Students may find it convenient to respond to open-ended questions using the voice-recognition built into their mobile devices.

Screen shot of mobile icon from SRTE tool. 
Screen shot of Mobile SRTE icon.

When students choose the mobile option, they will see only one question at a time, rather than the entire SRTE form on their screens.

The regular web version SRTE is still available for students with laptops or without mobile devices.

Faculty will also be able to use the mobile version to check response rates for courses with active SRTEs. Those faculty who are concerned about response rates will be interested in taking advantage of this new functionality by asking students with mobile devices to complete their SRTEs during class.

Faculty: please remember that if you set aside class time for students to complete the SRTE, you need to leave the room.

Workshops & Seminars