The United States Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education recently announced a new Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) competition First in the World (FITW). The program will provide multi-year grants to institutions of higher education to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes, make college more affordable for students and families, and develop an evidence base of effective practices. The grant announcement explains that innovations can take many forms, such as those that improve teaching and learning by redesigning courses and student supports or by leveraging technological developments.
The FITW competition aims to increase postsecondary access, affordability and completion for underrepresented, underprepared or low-income students at institutions across the country. Applications are due June 30, and FIPSE is holding pre-application webinars May 28 and June 4 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. EDT. See the First in the World website and the official Federal Register Notice for more details.
While ACRL is not eligible to apply, academic librarians could work with their own institutions and consortia to seek FITW funding. With $75 million dollars available, this could be a powerful mechanism for you to implement innovative strategies and effective practices which improve student outcomes. Use FITW as a catalyst to transform student learning, pedagogy, and instructional practices through creative and innovative collaborations on your campus. Leverage this as an opportunity to demonstrate alignment with and impact on institutional outcomes.
Think of ACRL when you develop your proposal. We can serve as a contractor to support your project in the following ways:
- Retain our consultants to design and facilitate a planning retreat, conduct an external review, or facilitate round table discussions/focus groups with your campus stakeholders.
- Host an onsite training workshop Planning, Assessing, and Communicating Library Impact: Putting the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education into Action or Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement to bring together a group to learn and grow in support of your project.
- Attend the ACRL2015 conference, one of our Information Literacy Immersion Programs, or other events and e-Learning opportunities. We offer professional development on a wide variety of topics to help you excel in supporting students.
- Use ACRLMetrics to create reports with peer benchmarking and multi-year trend analysis.
- Share your project findings and expand the evidence base as an ACRL e-Learning presenter or by authoring an ACRL publication.
You may think of other ways ACRL could support you through our existing programs and services. Or perhaps you would benefit from having ACRL involved in a new way, as a full partner to offer more substantial support. To pursue any of these options as you develop your FITW proposals, be in touch with Kara Malenfant, ACRL’s senior strategist for special initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-545-2433 ext 2510.