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Educational Foundation

Educational Foundation

Innovation Grants

Apply today for an Educational Foundation Innovation Grant
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What is innovation?
Innovation is creativity in action: The introduction of new ideas, projects or methods to address a need or solve a problem.

What is the origin of the Educational Foundation Innovation Grants?
In 1990, Virginia Western Community College received a gift from the estate of Mr. Bernard Whitman, well-known musician and teacher in the Roanoke Valley. He taught part-time at Virginia Western. This gift was used to establish a Liberal Arts Fund for the college to enable the college's administration, faculty and staff to pursue projects which would enhance the education of students at Virginia Western.

Who may apply for Educational Foundation Innovation Grants?
Virginia Western Community College's individual full time or part time faculty and staff, programs or departments may apply annually for an Innovation Grant.

Who may be awarded an Innovation Grant?
Applicants who submit a completed application are evaluated by the Educational Foundation's Scholarship & Grants Committee. Decisions may be based on:

  1. Proposal's alignment with the mission and values of Virginia Western Community College
  2. Clarity and quality of expressed idea and objectives
  3. Impact the proposal will have on Virginia Western Community College in short and long term.
  4. Available funding

What is the monetary range of grant awards?
Grants will typically range from $1,000 up to a maximum of $10,000.

What types of projects may be funded?

  • Experimental or instructional equipment not funded through the college's operating budget process
  • Innovative instructional methods and procedures, including technology-based approaches
  • Materials (as pertain to the direct design/creation/methodology of the proposal)
  • Activities in support of new courses
  • Guest speaker for a course or group of faculty related to teaching and learning (hotel or travel expenses)
  • Student and faculty visitation to field sites
  • Projects not funded by VCCS professional development initiatives, Perkins Grant or the Equipment Trust Fund

What types of projects will not be funded?

  • Salaries for faculty or staff
  • Activities expected of faculty as part of typical course preparation or development
  • Materials (as part of the operational budget of the department/program/course in question; housekeeping supplies or equipment)
  • Conference travel for faculty
  • Study abroad or international travel
  • Gifts to project participants
  • Donations
  • Membership fees

Where is the application located?
The Educational Foundation Innovation Grant application is located on the Virginia Western website in the Faculty & Staff Forms Library at To access, simply click on the blue Apply button above.

Examples of previous winners of Innovation Grant awards

Metacognitive Tutoring: A Key to Student Academic Success ($4450.00)
Provide support for the development of a metacognitive training program for Academic Link tutoring staff.  Project includes a two-part webinar and a half-day metacognitive tutor-training workshop-open also to faculty and advisors - conducted by Leonard Geddes of Lenoir-Rhyne University, a leading expert on learning improvement for college and high school students. The webinar and workshop serve as a foundation for a comprehensive in-house metacognitive tutor training program that will serve Virginia Western learning assistance programs well into the future.

Breaking Cost Barriers and Increasing Success: An Open Textbook in English 111 ($7000.00)
Partnership between Learning Resources Center and English Faculty to develop a textbook that is available for free online or via a portable file (PDF) or in an inexpensive printed format - lowering financial barriers for VWCC students in English 111, the class with the highest enrollment.

Visible Body Software for Anatomy Students ($5940.00)
The purpose of the project is to obtain a software program that will allow students enrolled within Anatomy & Physiology at VWCC to access the software free of charge to the student. This is part of a greater plan to eventually have the course sequence structured at a minimal cost to the students.

Educate the Educators, Diode Laser Soft Tissue Certification ($3900.00)
Grant supports registration fee costs for VWCC dental hygiene faculty to attend a Diode Laser certification workshop. This will certify all faculty members on the use of diode lasers and equip faculty with knowledge and strategies to teach use of lasers to dental hygiene students for laboratory and clinical competency.

Development of Online Chemistry Course Sequence for Non-Science Majors ($1778.00)
Creation of two online chemistry courses, using best practices, which fulfill the requirements across several 2-year transfer degree (A.A. and A.S.) programs that require a science class sequence with lab (not including the A.S in science). This additional course sequence will support multiple online programs and expand the College's opportunity to provide credentials to its service area population.

WDS: In-Demand Curricula: Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge ($6000.00)
In collaboration with School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and Virginia's Blue Ridge, Workforce Development Solutions will develop and implement customized customer-service development program aimed toward Roanoke Valley hospitality staff. Program would train staff to become ambassadors for themselves, their employers and Virginia's Blue Ridge with the end goals of strengthening perceptions of the region as a "destination" and a favorable impact on economic development


Contact Carolyn Payne, Scholarship & CCAP Coordinator at 540-857-6371 or

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