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Assessment Mini-Grants

The Strategic Plan notes that efforts to reshape Drake’s exceptional learning environment must be informed by current knowledge about learning, and that learning strategies and environments should be grounded in evidence.  Pursuing assessment practices that are useful, flexible, consultative, and supportive of faculty/staff development will lead to improving student learning. 

To help support departments and programs effectively work in this manner, the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment has reallocated internal resources to develop a new mini-grant program. The purpose is to support efforts that promise innovative approaches or improved practice in assessment and/or program review.

To promote this work, we invite proposals for initiatives that support:

  • the continued development of school/departmental assessment plans that focus on enhancing student learning and/or
  • assessment of program effectiveness in connection with preparing a self-study.

For the purpose of improvement, a maximum of $500 per department/program is available for expenses incurred. 

Examples of uses for these funds includes:

  • Assessment planning activities (off-campus retreat site costs, including meals during retreat);
  • Purchase of assessment resources (e.g., books, journals, software) for your department or program;
  • Texts or other materials that your department/program may use for curricular change;
  • Travel to conferences, workshops, or other sites that will directly assist in curricular or programmatic improvement;
  • Stipend for a consultant to work with your department or program on improving the assessment plan that is in place;
  • Guest speaker on assessment or programmatic improvement;
  • Surveys or external capstone examinations;
  • Changes made by departments/programs based on previous assessment results that require extra funds.

Application Process:

1. Using the application template at, describe the basic pedagogical ideas, challenges, or questions to be examined as a result of assessment.  Wherever possible provide information gathered in previous years’ assessment reports.

2. Identify the specific aspects of the department/program curriculum that will be the focus of the mini-grant period and what work will be accomplished during the grant period.  Grant period cannot exceed one academic year. 

3. It is not necessary to include a detailed budget, but please include brief details indicating how you intend to spend the grant money.

4. Applications will be accepted on a rolling-basis. Decisions on the grants will be made within 4 weeks of the application.

After the funds have been used, the use of the mini-grant should be documented in detail in the Assessment Mini-Grant Final Report template, available at

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