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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Aug. 25, 2006

P&S grants awarded to 20 projects

by Samantha Beres

Prospective students are going to start hearing about Iowa State through podcasts they download from iTunes U. Or, they might read a blog or watch an online video to learn more about life on campus. These are just a few of 20 proposals that recently received grants in a competitive program funded by the president's office.

The grants, administered by a committee of the Professional and Scientific Council, total $45,000 and are awarded to projects that take innovative approaches to attract and retain students. The total increased by $15,000 from last year due to high demand and competition for the grants. This year, 31 applicants asked for a total of $116,782.

Three proposals funded this year also received grants last year (marked with *).

"Multi-year funding is for programs that show good success and good promise in building on what they did last year," said Camille Schroeder, chair of the P&S recruitment and retention committee. The hope, she said, is that they become yearly, self-sustaining programs at Iowa State.

Proposals to receive funding are:

Experience ISU: In Your Own Backyard. One hundred Story County middle school 4-H'ers and their parents will spend an evening at their county extension office with ISU admissions staff and student ambassadors. These students also will visit campus and tour all the colleges. $2,500.

Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello County Tours. Students in grades 10 and 11 from Mahaska, Monroe and Wapello counties will take career-specific campus tours at Iowa State. Tours will showcase ISU's state-of-the-art facilities and interactive, educational resources in the areas of art, engineering, technology, agriculture and veterinary medicine. $750.

Farm Progress Show Exhibit. The Iowa State exhibit at the 2006 Farm Progress Show will showcase career and education opportunities in agriculture. College of Ag students will hand out recruitment brochures and talk to potential and current students. $2,000.

*Jump Start. Iowa State Admissions and DMACC staff will plan a series of recruitment events to promote the Admissions Partnership program and other post-secondary education opportunities to 250 Des Moines high school freshmen. $2,000.

Engineering PERK (promoting engineering/recruiting kids) Kits. Individuals who sign up through the Web site will receive a kit designed and developed to promote engineering and science to K-12 students. Kits include a magazine and newletters that contain hands-on engineering activities for young readers. $1,300.

Enhancing Climate in Engineering Classrooms. A workshop will be held for faculty and teaching assistants that provides the best teaching practices related to classroom climate. (Workshop will be based on data gathered in the College of Engineering for a master's thesis.) $5,000.

iTunes U. To showcase engineering student activities, students will create their own promotional audio/video podcast for "iTunes U" aimed at prospective students. $8,000.

Take the Adventure Home. To recruit students to the electrical and computer engineering program, ISU student ambassadors will go to their hometown high schools and talk to students, teachers and guidance counselors about their college experiences. $1,200.

*A Major Fair. The Major Fair will offer a "one-stop shopping" opportunity for ISU students to add, change or select a major or minor that is right for them. Prospective transfer students also would be invited to the fair. $2,400.

African-American Alumni Mentor Program. With a goal to increase retention of ISU African-American students, this program matches students with alumni professionals. $2,000.

Student Support Services Program. Video clips of first-generation and low-income students will be available from the program's Web site to help recruit others from these populations. $1,600.

College Financial Success Program. This program partners with orientation course instructors to develop students' personal finance skills through in-class instruction. The goal is to reduce student debt and financial distractions. $3,000.

*Martin-Helser-Eaton Challenge. Activities and events (for example, "study bucks" and items of the week) will focus on academics, service and involvement to create opportunities for students to interact beyond one individual hall. Students also will take part in a community service weekend. $1,000.

Recognition in Oak-Elm Hall. This program will reward Oak-Elm women for building community and excelling in academics. At a spring reception, there will be an inspirational female speaker and awards given to those achieving a 3.0 or higher. $1,000.

Journey to Success. The intervention program is designed to increase the GPA and retention of students earning less than a 2.00 and receiving financial aid. Students will attend a workshop to identify factors that have inhibited success and develop an action plan. They will attend small group meetings with other students and an academic consultant. $1,250.

Blogging for Distance Learning. Multiple blogs by distance learning students and faculty teaching from a distance will give prospective adult students an inside look at Iowa State courses. $2,000.

*Go! E-zine. This project will pilot test an online teen magazine. Go! will help teenagers understand transportation's impact on their lives and generate interest in transportation academic programs at Iowa State. $2,500.

Graduate Student Learning & Teaching. The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching will organize and run more programming to support the professional development of graduate teaching assistants. Programs will include presentations, discussion groups and seminars in teaching and learning circles. $2,500.

Department of Animal Science Undergrad Marketing Tool. A marketing tool will be developed to recruit undergraduate students to the department of animal science. Staff will investigate student and alumni opinions to determine the content and avenues for distribution of materials. $500.00

A Major Experience. High school juniors and sophomores in the Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound programs will visit campus to explore majors and career opportunities. $2,500.


Grant program is in its 13th year. The grant awards range from $500 to $8,000. Three of the projects build on proposals funded last year. Grant recipients are required to submit mid-year and end-of-year reports.