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Teaching and Curriculum

Curriculum and Assessment Services

Curriculum and Assessment Services supports the College of Arts and Sciences and its faculty committees that make recommendations for, review, and assess the programs and courses that are available to Arts and Sciences students. Visit the ASCCAS website for more information.

The Ohio State University is committed to educating students broadly for life as well as educating students for their future careers and professions. The commitment to educating students broadly is realized through Ohio State’s General Education (GE), a foundational element of the undergraduate educational experience at the university.

Late in 2016, the University Senate’s Council on Academic Affairs (CAA), based on a report from the University-Level Advisory Committee (ULAC) [pdf] on the General Education (GE), recommended a review of the current GE program.

The College of Arts and Sciences provides incentives for team-taught courses, led by professors from different disciplines, to showcase innovative teaching, promote the goal of interdisciplinary teaching and encourage interdisciplinary research. Find out more about opportunities and guidelines for proposals.

The First-Year Seminar program was inaugurated in 2004 in order to provide unique learning experiences for first-year students.

Goals for the First-year Seminar program

  • Provide first-year students opportunities for contact with faculty in small group-discussion settings.
  • Offer an introduction to frontier areas of scholarly pursuit, allowing freshmen a glimpse of current topics of research and study.
  • Introduce students to unfamiliar academic areas.
  • Provide insight into how faculty pursue scholarship in their disciplines.

Submission Deadline:                 

Proposals for autumn seminars must be submitted by March 1. 

The First-Year Seminar program is administered by Todd Bitters, in ASC Advising Services, and proposals should be submitted to his office via email (bitters.4@osu.edu).

Learn more

Grants Programs

ATTENTION! The Service Learning grant opportunity is only available to the Columbus campus faculty.

EMAIL FROM: Jan Box-Steffensmeier, Interim Executive Dean and Vice Provost

I am pleased to issue a call for proposals for the development of new undergraduate service-learning courses in the College of Arts and Sciences. Service learning is widely recognized as a “high-impact” educational practice, creating a mutually beneficial collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global). Service-learning courses epitomize OSU’s motto, Disciplina in civitatem, Education for Citizenship, creating a meaningful, real-world, multidirectional transfer of skills and knowledge among students, faculty, and community partners. 

Ohio State started the Service-Learning Initiative (http://service-learning.osu.edu/) in 1999. In May 2007, the Council on Academic Affairs approved the proposal for policies and procedures for listing service-learning courses with an “S” suffix. This addition makes it easier for students to locate service-learning courses and provides standards for course design across the university. With the more recent creation of the STEP Program, as well as the opportunities afforded by both the current and prospective General Education curricula, the College of Arts and Sciences is taking a leading role in the expansion of valuable service-learning opportunities for our students. 


Service-Learning is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs, and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility.

For the purposes of this grant, we want to distinguish clearly between service-learning, as defined here, and other forms of University-sanctioned civic engagement or volunteerism that are not course-based or credit-bearing and not part of the University’s curricular offerings, but which may be organized and/or promoted through the Office of Student Life or through student organizations. Also, for the purposes of this grant, proposed courses should be undergraduate (2000-4000-level) or dual career (5000-level) courses. 

Overview of Grants

The grants for service-learning course development are intended to encourage and support the work needed to develop and sustain new service-learning courses that will become a regular part of each department's offerings. The expectation is that once fully approved, courses will be offered at regular intervals of no longer than every two years. Faculty members whose service-learning course proposals are accepted will receive either (a) a one-course release from teaching or (b) a summer stipend of $5000 in order to fully develop the proposed course (including securing a commitment from one or more participating community partners). In case option (a) is chosen, those faculty members’ TIUs will be compensated at the lecturer rate to offset the cost of the grant recipients’ course release.  In addition, for either option, once the proposed courses are successfully developed and taught for the first time, the College of Arts and Sciences will award the offering faculty members a one-time stipend of $2,000. Minimum enrollment levels for the initial offering will be governed by the offering faculty members’ TIUs, in compliance with Faculty Rule 3335-8-16(A). 

Grant Application and Selection Process

To apply for an ASC grant for a new service-learning course proposal, interested faculty must complete the attached ASC Service-Learning Grant Application Form and submit it via e-mail together with all the required supplementary materials as a single PDF document to Linda Hood, Executive Assistant to Associate Executive Dean, Steven Fink, 114 University Hall (hood.82@osu.edu). 

The deadline for grant proposal submissions during the current annual review cycle is Monday, April 8, 2019.

I will then charge the ASC Curriculum Committee with reviewing the submitted service-learning course proposals for service-learning grants. Up to five courses may be selected each year, ideally from a variety of disciplines. As noted above, faculty whose courses are selected will each receive either (a) a one-course release from teaching or (b) a summer stipend, to more fully develop the course to the point where it can be submitted for inclusion in the course catalog. If the course-release option is selected, the recipients’ TIUs will be compensated at the lecturer rate during this period to offset the cost of the course release.

Subsequent Steps

Once the ASC Curriculum Committee has selected the service-learning courses for a grant, recipients will be personally contacted and given detailed instructions about the subsequent expectations to insure their proposed service-learning courses actually get on the books and are taught on a regular basis. For now, here is a brief overview of the subsequent steps:

  • Grant recipients will be expected to participate in the May 2019 Service-Learning Course Design Institute offered by the Office of Service-Learning and UITL (formerly offered through UCAT). (Dates TBD.)
  • Grant recipients should use the one-course release to fully develop their course within the 2019-2020 academic year. Faculty who prefer the summer-stipend option are responsible to work on developing their course during summer 2019.
  • Grant recipients may find it beneficial to consult with the Office of Service-Learning for support in developing the service-learning component of the prospective course. At the end of the term during which the course-release or summer stipend is used, the faculty member will submit, through the regular curricular approval channels, a finalized course proposal including specific community partners confirmed, a full syllabus, and all the necessary documents for a new course with the “S” suffix. The faculty member will work closely with his/her departmental curriculum committee (in particular, the department Director of Undergraduate Studies and/or curricular staff) and the ASC Curriculum and Assessment Services (asccas.osu.edu/) during this process. (Any new course can only be included in the university course catalog through submission in curriculum.osu.edu.)
  • As is the case for any new course proposal at the university, the College Curriculum Committee will duly vet the new service-learning course for inclusion in the course catalog. This will also include a review by the Office of Service-Learning, which approves requests for the “S” suffix university-wide.
  • Once the course is added to the course catalog and is taught for the first time, the faculty member will receive a one-time honorarium of $2000 from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Questions: Contact Associate Executive Dean Steven Fink (fink.5@osu.edu).

Additional Tips for ASC Service-Learning Grants

  1. ASC Service-Learning grant recipients will be strongly encouraged to sign up for the Service-Learning Course Design Institute offered by the Office of Service-Learning and the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) in May 2019. (Exact dates to be determined.) This 18-hour institute will provide prospective instructors of service-learning courses with tools, time, and support to integrate service learning effectively in the curriculum. It will also provide guidance on how to effectively assess service-learning courses. Any questions about the Service-Learning Course Design Institute may be directed to Ola Ahlqvist, Office of Service-Learning, 614-247-7997 (ahlqvist.1@osu.edu).
  2. Applying for an ASC Service-Learning grant does not preclude faculty from applying for other funding. For example, the Office of Service-Learning offers its own service-learning course grants. See information and instructions on the Service Learning website


Sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Office, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of International Affairs.


This grant competition, sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Office, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of International Affairs seeks to engage faculty and increase their involvement in proposing and implementing new faculty-led undergraduate research abroad programs. This pilot program supports proposals from full-time faculty, within the College of Arts and Sciences, for proposed research abroad undergraduate programs. Group and individual student activities are subject to university requirements and policies regarding travel to risk-designated countries. Candidates working closely with their undergraduate curricular committees and reflecting the curricular plans will receive priority consideration.

Proposal Preparation

Proposals must include:

  • A 4–5 page narrative proposal outlining the proposed research abroad program
  • A 1-2 page overview of scheduled activities/itinerary
  • A 1 page overview describing program sustainability and length of commitment
  • A short (not to exceed 4 pages) curriculum vitae (CV) of the faculty applicant(s)
  • A letter of support indicating departmental-level endorsement
  • A detailed budget clearly depicting the faculty member's travel-related site visit costs (e.g., flights, per diem, etc.)
  • If the research experience is credit bearing, an initial syllabus conforming to the ASC Education Abroad guidelines is also required

Proposal Submission and Evaluation Process

Complete applications must be submitted as a single PDF document. The application deadline is Monday, January 16, 2017 by 11:59 pm. Submit completed applications electronically to heysel.1@osu.edu with a carbon copy to wallace.621@osu.eduApplicants will be notified, via electronic mail, regarding the disposition of their application by Friday, January 20, 2017.

Applicants selected for potential funding will be required to submit a formal proposal for new programming to the Office of International Affairs by Wednesday, February 7, 2017 at 11:59 pm.


In 2017, the competition will fund 3 proposals of ≈$13,000-$15,000 each.  Each faculty member will receive $2,000-$4,000 (amount will vary based upon actual travel costs outlined in the budget) to support his/her travel-related site-visit and feasibility costs including travel and per diem. The Undergraduate Research Office will contribute $10,000, to each program to support undergraduate students’ future travel and research-related costs abroad.  The earliest start date for this program is May, 2018 and proposals must meet expected curricular and programmatic guidelines.

For additional information or to ask questions regarding the application process, please contact Dr. Garett Heysel (heysel.1@osu.edu) or Dr. Lorraine Wallace (wallace.621@osu.edu).

The College of Arts and Sciences welcomes proposals from academic units for academic tours abroad for alumni and friends.  The success and high academic impact of our faculty-led education abroad experiences for undergraduates demonstrates our potential to offer tailored, faculty-led educational programs to alumni and friends of the university.  Such programs have considerable potential for outreach, advancement, and lifelong learning.  Through this call for proposals, the college encourages its academic units to propose faculty-led, high-quality, academically-oriented overseas programs for alumni and friends that advance the academic missions of the university. 

To ensure quality, efficiency, and consistency with academic missions, the College will facilitate a select number of academic tours abroad for alumni and friends each year.  By May 1 of each year, chairs, directors, and faculty who are interested in leading or offering such an experience during the following 24 months should submit a concise, preliminary proposal that addresses the following points:

  1. Title of the program
  2. Itinerary of tour, including the desired dates of travel and sites to be visited.
  3. Academic student program, curriculum, or courses that will be highlighted, showcased, subsidized, or otherwise supported by the tour.
  4. Development and advancement goals to be served. (Indicate the name of the Development officer with whom this program has been discussed.)
  5. Preliminary budget data, including the estimated cost that would be charged to each participant and total anticipated expenses. 
  6. PI and other faculty hosts who will participate actively in planning and leading the tour.
  7. Staff available at unit level to assist with logistics including but not limited to: fiscal transaction management, application processes, promotion and recruitment
  8. Names of prominent alumni and friends of Ohio State who would take an interest in the tour, if any are known.
  9. A brief plan of how the unit intends to promote and market the opportunity.

Once the College offers conditional approval of a proposal, its sponsors will be invited to prepare, in close consultation with Assistant Dean Garett Heysel, a detailed prospectus that will be subject to final college approval.

Stipulations of the Program

  1. Programs are expected to contain academic content tied to the teaching or research mission of the unit hosting it, and not simple travel programs that serve social or recreational purposes only.
  2. Faculty should be committed to leadership roles and devoted to offering their professional expertise to the program. 
  3. Invitations to participate will be extended to alumni and friends of Ohio State from all disciplines and backgrounds.
  4. The college expects each tour to break even financially at a minimum.  Permission might be given to operate a pilot program at a small financial loss if there are reasons to expect long-term financial gains that advance the academic missions of the college. Each approved tour must set a minimum number of paying guests that would define the break-even point.  Under-enrollment by a specified deadline might trigger cancellation of the tour by the college.
  5. Compensation for faculty participants may take the form of course releases (borne by the department) or modest stipends (costs of which should be folded into the fees charged to guests). Travel costs for faculty hosts will be folded into the guest fee structure.
  6. Travel arrangements must be made through one of the university’s designated travel providers.  All plans will be expected to conform to the university’s risk management protocols.
  7. The college will aim to approve not more than three alumni tours per calendar year, aiming for balance of units represented, geographical focus, and scheduling efficiency.
  8. Proposals should be submitted to Linda Hood (hood.82@osu.edu), Executive Assistant to Associate Executive Dean Steven Fink, 114 University Hall.

Questions can be directed to Assistant Dean Garett Heysel (heysel.1@osu.edu).