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In a typical year, thousands of Ball State students will take an immersive learning course. Some of these courses might need funding to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for students or to make a more profound impact in the community. In these cases, faculty can apply for a pilot/one-time grant. Typical pilot/one-time grants are $5,000-20,000.

This grant program is for undergraduate courses that have not been funded before. However, pilot/one-time grants may be utilized to support projects embedded in regularly offered immersive learning classes where the project outcomes, partners, and/or faculty members regularly change over given semesters. Successful pilot projects may apply for the Sustainable Course Grants.

Proposals for Pilot Project/One-Time Grants are submitted by the faculty member who will teach the course and must be approved by the applicant’s department chair and college dean.

(Please note that applying for this grant is NOT a substitute for the official course revision process, which departments must also complete in addition to this grant. Please consult this link (PDF) for more information.)

A call for Pilot Project/One-Time proposals will be announced twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring semester. Funds awarded in a fall call cycle can be used for courses starting the following spring, summer, and fall of the subsequent year. Spring awards can be used for courses starting the following summer, fall, and spring following the call for proposals. 

Immersive learning projects are high-impact learning experiences that involve collaborative student-driven teams, guided by faculty mentors. Students earn credit for working with community partners such as businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies to address community challenges through the creation of a product that has a lasting impact.

Implementation Criteria:

  • Community-Engaged: The class works with a community partner (local or national non-profit, business, government agency, school, etc.) with the faculty member acting as mentor, liaison, and guide.

  • Collaborative: Students work together on teams.

  • Project-Based: Student teams create an outcome or deliverable that addresses a community-identified issue.
  • One course buyout (3 hours) for one faculty member leading the project per semester. Course buyout supports the increased workload for new immersive learning project development and implementation. Immersive learning course buyouts are $3000 + fringe ($960). (Download the budget template for additional information.) Please note: course buyouts cannot result in or be in addition to an overload, nor can course buyouts be for the summer.

  • A $500 summer stipend for faculty who fall into one or more of the following categories:
    • A first-time applicant

    • A course or project that primarily serves first and second-year students

    • A course or project that explores and honors Inclusive Excellence's broad definition of diversity that includes dis/ability, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, religion, nationality, age, and other important social dimensions that are part of a community

  • Travel costs for faculty and students to complete the project.
    • Faculty and students can request travel money for site visits, conferences, and workshops during the semester in which the project occurs. (Any post-project travel requests supporting faculty and student professional and/or conference travel related to the funded project may be made under the Immersive Learning Travel Grant program.)

  • Consultants and other subject matter experts who can enhance understanding of the field, industry, trends, etc. Please download the budget template for more guidance.

  • Student and/or faculty training including skill development, industry or discipline certifications, simulations, or other activities that enhance the learning experience or prepare the faculty mentor to teach the class. Grant funds will cover up to 50% of faculty certification training, and the rest will be covered by faculty or their department.

  • Supplies, materials, and equipment to complete the project
    • Please note that special conditions and/or procedures may apply for any supplies and equipment meant to be utilized on off-campus properties.

    • If a project needs any type of licensed software, One-Time Grants may pay for only one year of a license agreement.

  • Student worker(s) or graduate assistant(s) to help with the class. Applicants must provide a full description of duties in the budget narrative and must clarify why these responsibilities cannot be done by the class or faculty member. Faculty may hire graduate students on an hourly basis according to current graduate school and university policies. Click here for Graduate Assistantship Guidelines.

  • Other related project costs.

  • Funding will not be granted for: One-Time/Pilot Grants may NOT be used to cover any ongoing overhead costs, such as rent for an off-campus space.

All administrative activities for the project, including (but not limited to) purchasing, travel authorizations, and transfer of funds for personnel, will be handled by the faculty member’s department administrative coordinator. Project Managers from the Office of Immersive Learning will provide project assistance as necessary and can consult on allowable expenditures. However, they will NOT conduct day-to-day grant implementation activities. 

Faculty applying for One-Time/Pilot Project Grants will be asked to provide a student recruitment plan. Projects will be funded based on an expectation of meeting these student recruitment goals; if faculty mentors do not meet stated recruitment targets, then funding will be adjusted on a per-student basis. Immersive Learning projects must serve at least ten undergraduate students per three-credit-hour course; projects that do not meet this minimum are ineligible without special permission from the Provost.

Ball State strives to make immersive learning experiences available and accessible to all students. Applicants will be asked to articulate a course plan that allows for significant student inclusivity and accessibility.

Grant recipients are required to add the “high impact immersive learning” attribute in the Banner registration system for the semester in which the course will be offered. This attribute can be added by your department or college scheduling specialist. The Office of Immersive Learning will assist department personnel in the Banner designation process as needed. 

In an ongoing effort to capture the impact of Immersive Learning and other High Impact Practice activities as outlined in the Ball State strategic plan, students, faculty, and partners will be required to participate in all assessment and evaluation efforts as prescribed by the Office of Immersive Learning. These may include pre-/post-surveys, reflection activities, student assignments, and/or cumulative faculty evaluations in addition to course/project requirements.
  • Projects scheduled for the fall semester must be completed by May 30th of the following year, with a cutoff date of June 30th for all reports and expenses.

  • Projects scheduled for the spring semester must be completed by May 30th of the same year, with a cutoff date of June 30th for all reports and expenses.

  • Projects scheduled for more than one semester must be completed by May 30th of the year immediately following project completion, with a cutoff date of June 30th for all reports and expenses. A mid-grant report must be filed with the Office of Immersive Learning for projects that span more than one academic year.

  • On July 1st immediately following project completion, all unused project funds will be returned to the Office of Immersive Learning; project timelines will only be extended by special permission of the Provost.

After the grant period, faculty mentors will provide a final report to the Office of Immersive Learning detailing immersive learning activities, including how student learning outcomes were met, dissemination plan for upcoming semesters, student/instructor reflections, and grant expenditures. Faculty members will be ineligible to receive additional internal funding from the Office of Immersive Learning, including travel funding, until this report is received. The expectations for the report will be given to the faculty member when they are awarded the grant.

In addition, those receiving a Provost Immersive Learning Grant might:

  • Be asked to serve on future grant review committees.
  • Present their findings at a public forum arranged by the Office of Immersive Learning.
  • Participate in other immersive learning-related faculty development opportunities.

Have Questions?

Contact the Immersive Learning office so we can help at immersive@bsu.edu or use this form.