Funded by the Office of the Provost and administered by the Center for Teaching Excellence, Thrive grants are available to all UVA instructors who wish to incorporate new transformative learning experiences into their undergraduate course or who wish to partner with undergraduate students around the design or research of their courses. Course activities must connect closely to course content, align tightly with course learning objectives, and lead to significant and meaningful interactions between the instructor and his or her students.
Research1 shows that graduates who had at least one professor who made them excited about learning, who cared about them as a person, and who encouraged and mentored them to pursue their dreams are three times more likely to be thriving2 later in life than those who didn’t. But, unfortunately, only 14% of graduates have had professors support them in all three ways.
The intent of this grant program is to support instructors’ efforts to create transformative learning experiences that allow them and their students to interact in meaningful and substantive ways beyond traditional classroom boundaries. In other words, the grants are meant to help instructors create the conditions that make it more likely for their students to thrive.
These experiences may fall into one or more broad categories (we are open to additional proposed activities):
- Field Trip – e.g., taking students to visit historical or field research sites, museums, and research labs; attending theatrical or musical productions, master workshops, or design experiences
- Community Engagement – e.g., integrating work with community partners into a course; mentoring around community-engaged research (CEC resources)
- Course-Embedded Projects or Research – e.g., a course designed around substantial collaborative research, digital humanities projects, or exhibits
- Partnerships – e.g., working with former and/or current students to design/assist with a course, or co-conduct research on the teaching of the course (scholarship of teaching and learning)
2Thriving was defined as purpose well-being, social well-being, community well-being, financial well-being, and physical well-being.