Mini-Grant Application Guidelines

Guidelines for Projects on the Assessment of Student Learning

The Office of Assessment (OOA) is pleased to announce a call for mini-grant applications this Spring 2019. The YSU Assessment Mini-Grant Program provides funds for small projects that target the assessment and improvement of learning and helps to build the assessment capacity of programs and the university.  A total of $10,000 in funding is available for the 2019-20 (FY2020) cycle, usually divided between 5-10 projects and funded at levels appropriate to their project goals.


The Office of Assessment and University Assessment Council will place a funding priority on projects that promote or create sustained, meaningful assessment processes for a program, department, college, division, or unit. Collaborative projects for College-Wide Assessment Committees and/or Student Affairs and the use of direct measures of learning  are encouraged but indirect measures are also acceptable.


All applications are submitted online through the Mini-Grant Application Form.


Please visit the website for the application guidelines, evaluation criteria, responsibilities of grant winners and previous project results. Funding will begin July 1, 2019, with spending of mini-grant funds completed by May 15, 2020. Be sure to explain how the project impacts learning beyond one particular course or survey.


Faculty, chairs, staff, and program coordinators are encouraged to apply; the deadline to apply for funding is Friday, March 29, 2019. Winners will be notified by April 19, 2019.


Please Keep in Mind:

  • The University is tightening guidelines regarding providing student incentives. It is recommended that projects that include student incentives avoid those with monetary value (e.g. gift cards). Alternative incentives such as promotional items provide for smoother project management.
  • There is no limit in the amount of funds a single grant can apply for.  However, it is the goal of the OOA to fund multiple projects; as a result the office will consider grants that will allow us to distribute the funds across several grants. 
  • Mini-Grant applications are reviewed by the OOA and members of a review committee.  It may be suggested that only partial funding for a project be awarded, or that funding be given after changes to the project are made.  If this is the case the OOA will contact the applicants and request changes be made and/or explain the partial funding.  It is the decision of the Mini-grant recipient to make the changes and/or to accept partial funding. 
  • A grant may be used to purchase equipment in select cases, but only in projects where direct impact on student learning can be shown as a result of the equipment purchase.


View rubrics and previous grant winner project titles


Proposals for mini-grant projects can include, but are not limited to, requests to fund:

  • a training or workshop session for part-time faculty
  • a college-wide research project on recruitment, retention, and enhancement of students’ learning
  • the costs for testing students on a discipline-specific field test
  • the cost of conducting a retreat for faculty and staff
  • funds to improve the assessment portion of department or unit’s web-site
  • the costs for conducting focus groups with alumni on the attainment of educational objectives
  • the use of the ROAD system (Repository of Assessment Documents) for program-level assessment
  • an outside consultant to help improve assessment in a program
  • expenses for a speaker’s presentation on assessment-related topics
  • travel expenses to present findings at a professional conference on assessment, teaching, or learning. Expenses must be directly related to an assessment project.   
  • travel expenses to attend a professional conference on assessment, teaching, or learning. Expenses must be directly related to this assessment project. After attending the conference, the recipient will be required to train and/or share conference information with other faculty/staff/students at YSU.

Direct measures are direct observation or evidence of learning. Examples in a classroom could include papers, exams, or presentations; in a non-classroom setting this could include performance evaluations, or direct demonstration or production of accurate knowledge. Indirect measures include focus groups, opinion surveys, or measures of perceptions.

In some cases, recipients may desire to begin purchases prior to July 1, 2019. The Office of Assessment will review requests for early starts on the FY20 mini-grants on a case-by-case basis. Please clearly indicate on your application the need or rationale for the earlier start. An FY19 funding request will not impact consideration; however, FY19 funding may not be guaranteed.