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Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning

Community of Practice Grant

The Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning invites proposals from full-time faculty involved in 4-year degree programs at Univeristy of South Carolina Columbia and Palmetto College campuses and full-time USC Columbia staff members who regularly work with students to apply to join the Integrative and Experiential Learning (IEL) Faculty and Staff Community of Practice (CoP). While in the CoP, members will develop or revise a new course or program that provides students with the opportunity to engage beyond the classroom and reflect on how that engagement connects with their personal, academic, and career goals. The CoP cohort includes an even number of faculty and staff so that, in addition to working on their projects and learning more about IEL, members can also learn more about each other, their respective programs, and how they support students.

Application Deadline: November 18, 2022



$5000 (does not include summer salary for faculty)


Full-time faculty involved in 4-year degree programs at USC Columbia and Palmetto College campuses

USC Columbia staff members who regularly work with students

How to Apply

Applications should include:

  • Complete grant proposal cover sheet
  • 2-4 page project description
  • Budget with justification
  • Brief resume or biographical sketch
  • Supplied cover sheet and budget template

Please email applications to Laszlo Folks before the Nov 18 deadline. 


Complete grant details are available in PDF form

Grants are competitive. Proposals will be judged using the following criteria:  

  • Completeness of the application and conformance to these guidelines.  
  • Reasonableness of the budget. Note: Up to $5000 may be requested.  
  • Potential for the project to increase the opportunity for beyond the classroom experiences for all students, but also particularly for targeted populations of Pell-eligible, Underrepresented Minority, Transfer and Male students; produce results that increase student learning and help make connections across experiences.  
  • Feasibility of completing the project in the time proposed and with the funds available.  
  • Potential to sustain the integrative learning experiences beyond the grant period.  

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of the CIEL faculty executive director, QEP director, and the QEP outreach coordinator.

  • Serve a 1 ½ calendar year term. The CoP begins at the beginning of each spring semester and members remain in the cohort until the end of following spring semester in order to overlap with the next cohort. The project can be carried out any time during membership in the cohort.
  • Implement program enhancements in Spring 2023, Summer 2023, or Fall 2023. 
  • Share grant-related activities and results with CIEL. 
  • Submit a final report by May 15, 2024. 
  • Provide access to student artifacts. 
  • Assistance with curriculum/program design and assessment strategies through CIEL staff.  
  • Assistance identifying relevant experiences and subsequent activities (such as student reflection) that foster connections.  
  • Provision of monthly grantee cohort meetings from Spring 2023 – Spring 2024 to provide time to share ideas, plan the project, and receive feedback.  
  • Networking opportunities with the potential for scholarship and publications.  

Pooyan Jamshidi Dermani, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering and Computing, Dept of Computer Science and Engineering

Competitive Gamecock Robotics Club
Gamecock Robotics is a student organization that participates in the VEX Robotics league, where a new game is given out to students each year for which the team must build robots for competitions against other schools. Students on the team take part in multiple activities such as designing, modeling, building, programming, and documenting their processes. Students then compete in tournaments against other universities in robot-based challenges (head-to-head matches, skills challenges) and design challenges (interview and engineering notebook). The program is open to anyone looking to innovate, learn more about STEM, and be a part of a team made up of determined and hardworking students.


Ambra Hiott, Director of the Leadership and Service Center

Student Life Professional Peers
The Student Life Professional Peers program will prepare students to:  

  • Connect with fellow student leaders and employees across the Department of Student Life through unified onboarding and training sessions grounded in leadership development 
  • Reflect on their experiences and articulate how their learned skills translate to their future career goals 
  • Effectively communicate the Student Life experience and involvement opportunities for students at USC through coaching sessions, presentations, tabling, and media  


Rebecca Janzen, Associate Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature, Director of Graduate Studies

SPAN 375 - Special Topics in Spanish - Human Rights
This is a special topics class for students interested in Spanish. It will serve as a pilot for a way to introduce students to issues relating to the Spanish language and the law – including immigration and pretrial detention. There will be an experiential learning component and reflection-based assignments.


Grace Kazmierski, Assistant Director for Student Engagement, Office of Sustainability
Kimberly Seibles, Associate Director of Diversity and Social Justice Education, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

Environmental Justice Series
The goal of the Environmental Justice Series is to educate the USC community on environmental injustices and how those injustices impact the USC and Columbia community. A collaboration between the Office of Sustainability and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, this series of events will include guest speakers, tours of Historic Columbia, and more, planned by student leaders. We hope to not only educate our community but provide our participants with intercultural knowledge and agency to combat issues of power, privilege, leadership, economic injustice, and public problem solving (Ash & Clayton, 2009). 


Melissa Reitmeyer, Director of Field Education, Clinical Associate Professor, College of Social Work
Adam Englert, Staff, College of Social Work

SOWK 481 - Learning Enhancement Lab
The Living Learning Lab targets enhancement of generalist social work practice skills, which promote mastery of CSWE EPAS competencies explicitly stated for social work generalist practice. The proposed learning enhancement lab will include six modules: introduction to professional judgment for social work practice, four step components, and then a final reflection requiring the student to demonstrate their application, synthesis and learning in the form of conclusions and assessment. 


Jeffrey Williams, Instructor, College of Information and Communication, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

JOUR 595 - Maymester at the Circus
The objective of this project will be to create a short pilot film about the Maymester at the Circus course and how this beyond the classroom experience provides a richer learning experience due to the environment and immersion available. The hope is that this film will generate more excitement for students and faculty through experiential learning.  


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.