UNCW HouseUNCW’s Office of Undergraduate Studies has been awarded $80,000 in multi-institutional "Innovate/Collaborate" grants from the Colonial Academic Alliance. The grants are the first to be awarded under CAA’s new IN/CO Grant Program. Each totaling $20,000 per year for two years, the grants are dedicated to the support of initiatives that address pressing policy challenges in higher education, fuel collaboration between institutions, and promote innovation in intellectual inquiry. 

For the first grant initiative, UNCW will be part of a multi-institutional team of faculty and staff from Drexel University and the College of Charleston collaborating to develop a cutting-edge tool to assess the impact of experiential and applied learning across multiple types of experiences and campuses.

“Receiving these grants testifies to the value of UNCW’s focus on applied learning, and to our faculty’s determination to bringing students and powerful experiential learning together as a first priority,” said UNCW Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies Paul Townend. “These grants will help us contribute and collaborate, not only by sharing what we have learned about applied learning, but by learning ourselves how to better set teaching and learning priorities, and how to better support faculty in their work.”

As part of the second grant collaboration, UNCW will be working alongside Elon University, College of Charleston, University of Delaware, Drexel University, Hofstra University, James Madison University, Towson University, and College of William & Mary studying efforts to address access issues for student athletes to high-impact educational practices and mental health resources.

Research data gathered from the collaborations will help enhance applied learning experiences and increase student access to valuable programming, both priorities of the university’s Strategic Plan.

“What excites me most about these opportunities is that they are designed to increase and broaden access for all students to the things we do best as an institution, and to strengthen our practical connections to the CAA--a network of campuses with shared values,” Townend said. “Our successes here are recognized by the institutions that know us best--not only our sister schools in the UNC system, but also by our partners in the CAA.”

-- Christina Schechtman