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FYS Curriculum Integration Awards for Paired Learning Communities

In 2016-2017, FYS was pleased to have sponsored an inaugural year of grants that support curricular integration for learning communities.  Current research in the field of the first-year experience tells us that truly integrated curriculum, delivered by effective faculty members in a learning community environment, can have a major impact on the teaching and learning experience for both faculty and students.  Furthermore, this model has proven to be effective for increasing retention rates and contributing to student success beyond the first year.  FYS wishes to support faculty as they put together courses for integration, and we wish to support academic departments so that they may seek out ways to manage workload for all faculty. 


Learning communities that are fully integrated through curriculum and faculty collaboration are now the only paired learning communities offered in the First Year Success Program.


Our first year of grants produced the integration of five learning communities:


Adam Graves

PHI 1030
Intro to Ethics 

Matt Maher HIS 1040
World History

Liz Méndez-Shannon 

SWK 1010
Intro to SWK

Andrea Borrego CJC 1010
Intro to CJC

Francisco Barbosa

HIS 1150

Rich Kessel CAS 1010
Public Speaking

Chalane Lechuga

CHS 1000
Intro to CHS

Bill Huddy CAS 1010
Public Speaking

Adriana Nieto

CHS 1000
Intro to CHS

Rebecca Armstrong

CAS 1010
Public Speaking


Each of these outstanding faculty members was awarded a $1,500 stipend to collaborate with his or her partner on the integration of the two courses in the learning community.  Furthermore, the home department of each participating faculty member was given funding to “buy” three hours of release time for each faculty member in the fall semester.  This time was spent on projects that benefited the integration of the courses, and on professional development projects that contributed to the advancement of individual career paths.

In addition, almost all faculty who participated in this grant project took advantage of supplemental grant funds from FYS that support Co-curricular Activities and Faculty Travel.

This year, FYS invites applications for grant funds to support the curricular integration of THREE new learning communities.  The deadline for applications is Friday, February 10. 


Please consult with your department chair before applyingGrants will only be approved for faculty whose chairs have approved the scheduling of the paired learning communities.  Only courses with General Studies designation will be considered for curricular integration through this grant program.


To apply:

Please send an email to Lunden MacDonald, Director of First Year Success, at  In the email, please provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Department
  • Proposed course for integration
  • Do you have an identified partner? If so, who?
  • If you have not identified a partner, do you have an idea of what class or discipline may be a good fit for integration with your course?
  • Have you spoken to your chair regarding this proposal? If so, please have your chair email Lunden MacDonald with approval for your participation.
  • Please give a brief explanation of why you are interested in this project, and how you feel you may be able to effectively integrate your curriculum with the curriculum of a paired course.


If you have any questions about the grant, the program, or the concept of curricular integration in paired learning communities, please email Lunden MacDonald directly before submitting your application.

Applications will be reviewed in FYS, and Lunden MacDonald will follow through with chairs regarding the possible scheduling of paired courses.  Applications will be considered on the following criteria:

*Logic of the course pairing (i.e., do the concepts and contents of the two proposed curricula align well?).

*Creativity and feasibility of proposed plans for integration.

*Potential for positively impacting teaching and learning in the first-year classroom.


Grant recipients will be notified by Wednesday, February 15.

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