Summer 2013 Funding Opportunity Request for Proposals

Latina/o students are severely underrepresented in institutions of higher education at the undergraduate, master, and doctoral degree levels, evidencing an opportunity and equity gap in America's education pipeline. Project Vista exists because of this reality. Currently, less than 6% of CI's credential and graduate students identify as Latina/o, consistent with national patterns. Given that Latinas/os make up two-fifths of the population in our service area (40% of Ventura County and 43% of Santa Barbara County) and more than half of all students in California's P-12 schools (52%), the project of promoting Latina/o leadership through post baccalaureate education is a clear and compelling imperative for our campus. Project Vista, a $2.84M Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education, works to promote post baccalaureate access and graduation for members of all under-represented populations (e.g., Latina/o and other students of color, low income students, first generation college students).

About Project Vista's RLC Initiative:

Some of the many educational practices widely accepted as having a positive impact on student success in higher education include: (1) the creation of learning communities in which students develop a sense of connection and belonging while exploring big-picture issues that matter in the world outside of school, (2) opportunities to engage in research, (3) opportunities to participate in writing-intensive experiences, and (4) the development of trusting relationships with faculty mentors. Project Vista's Faculty-Student Research Learning Community (RLC) initiative incorporates each of these practices.

Summer 2013 funding will be awarded to faculty (tenure track and/or lecturer, full- and/or part-time) and students who participate in a Project Vista Faculty-Student RLC. The purpose of this summer fellowship is to facilitate faculty-student research learning communities to foster the development of research and writing skills or performance skills among under- represented credential, graduate and undergraduate students attending CI. Faculty RLC leaders will work closely with underrepresented students currently enrolled in a credential or graduate program, or who are undergraduates demonstrating potential for advanced studies but who have not yet considered or committed to continuing their education beyond the baccalaureate. In particular, we are looking to engage the kind of student who has great potential for success in postbac studies but who may need the experience of being noticed by faculty - and of being encouraged to define themselves as capable of excelling in academia, beyond the baccalaureate.

In keeping with Project Vista goals, proposals involving students currently enrolled in a credential or graduate program will receive priority consideration.

During Summer 2013, Project Vista will fund up to six $3000 faculty fellowships. Eighteen to twenty-four students (3-4 students recruited by each faculty participant) will be hired as student or graduate assistants for 32 hours at $12-14/hour, depending on experience.

Students and their faculty leader will meet a minimum of 30 hours over the summer to engage in a faculty-led research and writing or performance project. Students will produce a specific writing/performance deliverable assigned by the faculty and a group poster (or other appropriate presentation format) highlighting their research and resulting work. Students will also participate in a focus group interview led by Project Vista to discuss the impact of the experience and how to improve the RLC initiative for future participants. Finally, all faculty and student participants will participate in a Fall 2013 banquet, to which families will be invited and at which students will present their research and writing/performance project and receive a certificate of completion.

Faculty Requirements:

Participating faculty will identify a research and writing/performance project (including at least one specific deliverable) appropriate for engaging students, ideally in the faculty member's area of research. The project could be anything that will enhance the students' access to and success in a post baccalaureate program. It could focus on teaching students how to conduct and write a literature review, for example, or how to analyze and make sense of an existing data set, or how to write a research scholarship application.

Faculty will then identify three to five(3-5)underrepresented students who are currently enrolled in a credential or graduate program, or who are undergraduate students who demonstrate promise for advanced studies but may not yet think of themselves as credential and/or grad school potentials. This is an opportunity to engage students who may be the quieter, less academically confident, less easily noticed members of the campus community who need personal attention and encouragement to imagine and achieve their academic and leadership potential.

Faculty will meet with their student group 30 hours over the summer to work on the research and writing/performance project. They will also assist students in the development of a poster (or other appropriate presentation format) highlighting student work, and participate in a fall banquet celebrating the Project Vista RLC project and student work.

In addition to the time spent directly with students and the hours that will be required for preparing, communicating with students and reflecting on the RLC experience, faculty will participate in two 2-hour group orientation/assessment sessions led by Project Vista in Summer-Fall 2013 to learn from each other's experiences, assess program strengths and weaknesses and improve the RLC initiative for future participants.

Student Requirements:

Students will work 30 hours over the summer with a faculty member and other students on a specific research and writing/performance project assigned by the faculty. They will also develop a poster (or other appropriate presentation format) highlighting their research project and participate in a Fall2013 banquet celebrating the Project Vista RLC participants and their results.

In addition, students will participate in a 2-hour assessment session/focus group led by Project Vista to discuss the impact of the experience and how to improve the RLC initiative for future participants.

Application & Review Process:

Please submit a 1-2 page proposal outlining your interest and "game-plan" for engaging students to by 5:00PM Monday, April 1, 2013.

Required elements of the proposal:

  • description of the proposed research and writing/performance project
  • student learning outcomes and writing/performance deliverable(s)
  • intended student participants to be recruited (e.g., not as individuals but by program; by level - credential, graduate or undergraduate; by other defining characteristics)
    NOTE: do not recruit students until notified of your accepted proposal
  • anticipated benefits-e.g., to students, to faculty, to CI, to a particular community/region, to the field

Proposals will be reviewed by two previous RLC faculty participants and will be evaluated on the following criteria. How well does the proposal:

  • describe the research project, anticipated student outcomes and writing/performance deliverable
  • articulate the connection and ability to advance Project Vista's goal (i.e., to promote post baccalaureate opportunities for Hispanic and other under-represented minorities)
  • explain anticipated benefits of the program in multiple contexts


  • 4/01/2013: Submit 1-2 page proposal
  • 4/15/2013: Notification of awards
  • 4/16-5/24/2013: Student assistants (undergraduates and credential students) and graduate assistants hired
    NOTE: Graduate student hires require 2-week posting of job announcement and interviews
  • 5/28/2013, 10am-Noon: Orientation session for faculty participants

Summer 2013:

  • Faculty-Student RLC complete research and writing/performance project
  • RLC assessment session for faculty participants
  • RLC focus group session for student participants
  • Fall 2013: RLC banquet and student presentations for RLC students, their families and faculty