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Faculty/Instructor Community Engagement Learning Grants

This grant program is intended to support incorporating the principles and goals of ISU’s core value of civic engagement into students’ curricular experiences.

Note: All funds have been awarded and we will start accepting applications for the next fiscal year on July 1, 2024

The grants are intended to reimburse faculty for expenses directly associated with course-based events, activities or projects that develop students’ civic and community knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors and prepare them to participate in social change. Grants support community engagement projects as service learning assignments, guest speakers, travel expenses for class trips, material for in-class activities/assignments, etc. Expenses eligible for reimbursement by this grant program include:

  • Travel expenses for students and instructor to specific locations (fuel, parking, fleet vehicle rental, etc.)
  • Fees (e.g., admission) and related expenses for onsite visits
  • Travel expenses for class guests (including meals, lodging)
  • Stipend (modest) for guest speakers, either for onsite visit or teleconference session
  • Fees/registration for online seminars, workshops, etc.

Please see Types of Civic Engagement for the various ways Illinois State practices civic engagement.

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All tenured and tenure-line faculty, full-time non-tenure track instructors, and full-time staff with teaching responsibilities at Illinois State University are eligible. Recipients of prior grants who have failed to meet their grant obligations are ineligible.

Amounts of Grants

Grants will be up to $500 for reimbursement of documented expenses directly related to community engagement learning experience. Number of grants and amounts of individual grants are subject to availability of funds. Individual faculty members are eligible for up to one grant per academic term (fall, spring, and summer).

Application Deadlines

Applications for projects in the fall will be accepted on a rolling basis. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt, but should be submitted at least five weeks prior to incurring expenses for the event, activity or project. Applications for projects to be completed in the spring and summer should be submitted by Feb. 15.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the degree to which each:

  • Clearly addresses all of the narrative elements specified above.
  • Presents an itemized projected expenses and solid rationale for the budget.
  • Presents an assessment plan likely to provide useful feedback about the effectiveness of the activity, event or project in terms of course learning objectives and in terms of contributing to campus goals of civic and community engagement. Please see The Civically Engaged Learning Goals.
  • Is well written and complete.

Conditions of the Grant

Awards for projects requiring technology support may require additional approval.

Acceptance indicates agreement to present at an event such as: Civic Engagement Day (held in April), Civic Engagement Redesign (June) or Constitution Day (September) and submit a report (detailed below). These pieces of the process are designed to maximize the benefits of recipients’ experiences by sharing them with the ISU community. The reports will be posted on the Center for Civic Engagement website. Completion of this condition is required to remain eligible for future grants.

Grant reports (200-300 words) should include:

  • A description of the grant-related event, activity or project (essentially restating the grant proposal narrative, revised when necessary to reflect the actual event).
  • A summary of the findings from data collected regarding the instructional outcomes using the assessment method(s) identified in the proposal.
  • A brief conclusion about the effectiveness of the event, activity or project for supporting ISU’s core value of civic engagement; plans for revisions and improvements (if any) to the activity or project; and recommendations to peers about similar events, activities or projects that others might consider incorporating into their courses.
  • Optional: photos, recordings, examples of students’ responses, etc., to the experience to be included in the website presentation.

Important Dates

All receipts for reimbursement and other required documentation must be received at the Center for Civic Engagement no later than June 1 of the appropriate fiscal year. Expenses not properly documented by that date cannot be reimbursed.


Contact the Center for Civic Engagement or Dr. Katy Stzepek at (309) 438-1100.