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Grant for $2.6 million to fund Center for Teaching and Learning

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Donna Souder | Photo courtesy of csupueblo.edu
Donna Souder will direct the Center for Teaching and Learning. | Photo courtesy of csupueblo.edu

A $2.6 million grant has been awarded to Colorado State University-Pueblo to create a Center for Teaching and Learning. Donna Souder, associate professor of English and Director of Writing, is the project’s director and will be given support from Derek Lopez, director of the Center for Academic Enrichment.

“It (the Center for Teaching and Learning) will support innovative teaching strategies for faculty and is going to be faculty driven which means its success relies on the support and the commitment of the faculty across units on this campus,” Souder said.

“The grant itself is going to go to create the Center for Teaching and Learning and the hope is that from the center we will be running our summer bridge program and jumpstart programs.”

The $2.6 million will be spent over the next five years to get the center started and running. According to the abstract plan for the grant, which was written up by Souder, the money will be disbursed with approximately 77 percent invested in salaries, fringe benefits and faculty and staff stipends; 10 percent for equipment and supplies; 4 percent for travel; 7 percent for contractual items; and 0.5 percent for other expenses.

The Title V grant proposal will be funded under the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program of the U.S. Department of Education. Souder started working on the grant last October. “We submitted it on May 15 and thought we would know something by the end of July or the first of August. We heard about it on Sept. 22,” Souder said.

The cycle for Title V grants goes from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, Souder said. The grant was supposed to start Oct. 1, but Souder and Lopez didn’t know they got it until Sept. 22. Because of this, they only had three days to start pulling the program together.

The space for the Center for Teaching and Learning will be located on the third floor of the General Classroom Building. The rooms that will be used were made with the center in mind, Souder said. Most programs given awards like this don’t have an established center all ready, which makes CSU-Pueblo unique.

“I think that it is very exciting that we are going to have a single place where faculty can work together to address issues on this campus and to work together for what’s best for our students and to me that’s the most exciting piece of this entire grant,” Souder said.

By Jan. 11, Souder plans to have an idea of what to apply to the center, the money and support it will receive and what collaborations for the center are going to look like. Souder will also be visiting other centers like this one around the country and apply what works those programs to CSU-Pueblo.