Signature Experience Course Development Mini-Grants

Grant Aims: This grant is offered as part of the Signature Experience initiative to promote experiential learning opportunities in undergraduate courses at Georgia State University. The goal of the grant is to support faculty efforts to develop or adapt real-world, hands-on, innovative course experiences that address aims such as increasing knowledge and retention, promoting critical thinking and concept application, and developing career-ready skills. The grant can be used to create a new experiential learning course or to enhance an existing course to add an experiential learning component with a goal of submitting the course for designation as a Signature Experience course for the next cycle of catalog updates. Several grants are available each year, with a maximum award up to $1,500 per applicant.

Signature Experience Initiative: Signature Experiences are courses in which “learning comes alive and students are encouraged to be active in their own education.” Signature Experience courses at GSU transform the traditional classroom through student-centered approaches that emphasize learning by doing, active reflection of experiences, and the development of a final product. For more on Signature Experience curriculum, please review the flyer here.

In these courses, students apply class content to a real-world sustained experience that they do not typically encounter in the standard classroom. Students produce a final project or presentation that reflects on their experiences and the learning achieved. There are currently about 400 Signature Experience courses available to undergraduate students. Different types of classes include internships, clinical rotations, domestic field studies, research assistantships, service-learning courses, study abroad trips, honors thesis work and more.  We’ve got them in every major on campus.  We put them in categories like Arts, City, Global, Professional, Research and Service; approximately 70% of Georgia State undergraduates take at least one Signature Experience course during their college career. Every student should participate in these opportunities. Help us close the gap by creating new and exciting course options through these mini-grants!

Eligibility: All full-time faculty (Lecturer, Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor or analogous positions) in all departments and colleges of the Downtown or Perimeter Campuses.

The application process will begin on March 1, 2020

Deadline: April 15, 2020

Funding will be available for use July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. If looking for Summer 2020 funding, please note on application.

Eligible Expenses include:

  • Funds should generally be used for planning and implementation of experiential learning opportunities in the course
  • Faculty expenses for curriculum development
  • Summer support for faculty or TAs
  • Purchasing instruments, supplies or any educational materials supporting experiential learning activities in appropriate courses (or in the development of new courses)
  • Honoraria for guest speakers (limited to $200 total)
  • Travel grants to pay expenses related to taking students to an event, exhibit or another experience that is explicitly integrated into course content, goals and/or learning outcomes.
  • Up to $500 may be used to travel to a conference on experiential learning.

Non-eligible expenses include (but are not limited to):

  • Study Abroad experiences (Contact the Study Abroad Office to learn about opportunities for funding)
  • Items prohibited by state law (e.g., gifts for project participants, food, etc.)
  • Experiences not explicitly integrated into course and/or academic content
  • Any other travel expenses to conferences without specific approval by funders

Required Documentation:

An application and application materials should be submitted together to

Please use the subject line: Last name, first initial — mini-grant proposal (For example: Visaggi, C — mini-grant proposal).

Mini-Grant Application Form

  1. A curriculum vitae
  2. A syllabus for the proposed Signature Experience course
  3. Budget for funds requested including the breakdown and justification for expenses as well as how such costs would be covered in future years if expenses will be recurring as a feature of the course design
  4.  A summary of the experiential learning experiences to be conducted in the course (up to 3 pages), including:
  • Description of the experiential learning elements in the course including the percentage of the course that represents the experiential learning framework
  • Description of how learning course content is applied through experiences and how that will be assessed
  • Description of the ways in which the course requires students to reflect upon or analyze their experiential learning experiences
  • Description of the ways in which the course aligns with the College to Career initiative at Georgia State, including the incorporation of relevant competencies (use the skill builder for guidance)
  • Description and details about about the final project requirement and the overall learning objectives for the course
  • A plan to feature student work as part of the Signature Experience through Portfolium

Please submit these materials to by the deadline. In addition, please have the chair of your department (or equivalent supervisor) send a (brief) email to indicating departmental (or equivalent) approval of your efforts to develop this course.

Should your application be funded, you will be asked to utilize a pre-/post- assessment that will be provided for your course, submit a short write-up on your course for the Signature Experience website, and complete a reporting form at the end of the award period.