Call for Proposals – New Ampersand Course Innovation Grants

The College of Arts & Sciences and First-Year Programs is looking for proposals for new Ampersand programs. Ampersand programs are small, multi-semester, innovative courses designed to engage first-year students in the exciting work of the university – creating new knowledge. In addition to providing small, seminar-style class environments, most Ampersand programs offer unique opportunities for first-years such as international and domestic travel, research, and community engagement. Ampersand’s co-curricular programming is supported by the College of Arts & Sciences, and we are committed to ensuring that all students, regardless of financial means, can participate fully in the rich offerings of these innovative programs. 

We are looking for new and innovative programs. Programs that challenge students to think critically about themselves as well as the world around them. Programs and experiences that inspire students to learn about people, places, and cultures that are new to them and to prepare for experiential learning beyond the classroom walls.  We particularly seek programs that engage first-year students in international travel with the goal of increasing awareness of the inherent benefits of study abroad opportunities; integrate community knowledge for students as a pathway to deeper community-engaged learning; develop intercultural competence; foreground inquiry into issues of justice, ethics, diversity, and equity; or engage in substantive ways with pressing contemporary societal or environmental issues. Programs in the social sciences and humanistic social sciences are especially welcome.



All tenured, tenure-track, or teaching-track instructors in Arts & Sciences are eligible to apply. We welcome a variety of co-teaching models and appreciate and collaboration across departments and programs.

Grant Amount

Chosen proposals will receive funds and support for new Ampersand program development of up to $7,500 (for joint proposals). Funds can be spent on instructional and teaching materials such as books, apps, and software, research assistants to find, curate, and create relevant materials, as well as funds to support collaboration between teaching partners. All expenses should be reasonable and directly related to the activities that will be conducted as part of the course. Funds may not be used for local meals, entertainment, or alcohol purchases. Further support from Director of Curricular Innovation, Center for Teaching and Learning, and First-Year Programs available in designing course.

Application Requirements

Please submit the online webform application that addresses the following:

  • Program theme
  • Interested program faculty
  • Learning objectives or course goals
  • Ideas of specific classes that will be offered (both Fall and Spring semesters)
  • Extra and co-curricular experiences for the program
  • Budget

Applications are due Nov. 4, 2022 by 5 p.m.

Selection Criteria

Supported applications will foreground pedagogical innovation and co-curricular or experiential learning opportunities. Selection process will include discussion of course viability with relevant department chairs or program directors, please communicate with all relevant parties prior to submission.

Not sure your idea is fully baked? Have an idea but would need some additional collaborators? Not a problem! Come to the happy hour discussion on Ampersand Programs and meet with other interested parties (time TBD.) We are happy to workshop ideas and anticipate offering future calls for additional proposals. Reach out to Trevor Sangrey with questions or fur further information.

Information Session

Join us for an Information Session on October 17 at 4 p.m. in the McLeod Conference Room, Cupples II, room 102.

More on Ampersand Courses

What are Ampersand Programs?

  • Multi-semester, small (up to 19 students), discussion-based/interactive classes
  • May include travel and opportunities to conduct research under faculty mentorship
  • May be offered every year, every-other year, or intermittently

Why offer an Ampersand Program?

  • Benefits for students:
    • Courses offer students rigorous academic inquiry sustained over an entire year as well as an early opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with faculty.
    • Programs offer opportunity to travel and to deepen learning through off campus experiences.
    • Completing an Ampersand program fulfills an Arts & Sciences Integration (degree requirement).
  • For the faculty/department:
    • Programs create a small classroom environment, dedicated students, and the opportunity to extend learning outside of the classroom.
    • Courses introduce department/program to entering students and recruit majors/minors.
    • Programs are service to the College of Arts & Sciences.

International and Domestic Travel

The College Office offers support for planning, budgeting, and necessary paperwork.

  • Study trips earn additional 1-credit upon completion of the travel portion.
  • All travel must include at minimum two faculty/staff, one of whom may be an Assistant/Associate Dean from the College Office. The College Office covers the travel expenses of the two adults traveling.
  • Enrolled students receive need-based financial support from the College Office as determined by Student Financial Services. We are committed to making sure all students can participate in Ampersand programs!
  • Ampersand Program models
    • Traditional: Two seminar classes, one in the Fall and one in the Spring semester.  May be co-taught and/or offered through different departments or programs.
    • Introductory course/seminar model: Students take a regularly-offered introductory course in the first semester (ideally with a cohort-specific section or subsection) followed by a cohort-specific seminar in the second semester.
    • Programs can run every year, every other year, or intermittently.

Submit your application.

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