Success Fee to fund student programs

by Maria del Carmen Huerta, Staff Writer

Aztecs have the opportunity to make use of $300,000 funded through the Student Success Fee this year by submitting a grant proposal by Sept. 24.

The money will be allocated to enhance student’s educational experience and bring new educational resources to the San Diego State community.

Proposals submitted will be considered and implemented in the spring 2015 semester. Although all students can apply, one of the prerequisites is that the activities or projects be open to all members of campus, such as a guest speaker event or workshop.

“Now what we don’t know is if they will fund partial programs, again since this is all new we don’t have a clue how many proposals will come forth how they will be funded, if they will be fully funded or some partially funded, or not funded at all and this is all new in the process,” Assistant Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts Randi McKenzie said.

Students are asked to try and sway from conventional resources and come up with innovative ways to apply the funds, such as subsidized SDSU-led study abroad programs, according to an email sent out to PSFA students from the college’s council.

The funding has a one-time limit and can’t be extended because there is no guarantee of annual funding for a specific event or activity. Students should submit proposals in collaboration with either a faculty, staff members, or administrators as support, according to the official guidelines.

After the deadline to submit a proposal, there will be three levels of evaluations in order to be considered for approval. In the first level, three student peers will review the proposal. The Campus Fee Advisory Committee subcommittee, a student and a faculty or administrator will review the second level. The CFAC subcommittee members will ultimately decide how and to whom the money will be dispersed during the last level. Chosen proposals will be posted on the CFAC’s website by Dec. 10. Students will be notified before winter break.

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathryn LaMaster is the chair of the CFAC subcommittee and will be part of the proposal review process at levels two and three.

“All the applications are supposed to impact a program, or a group of students, or the whole campus, so the funds will never be allocated to a single individual,” LaMaster said.

Funds will increase every year by approximately $300,000 until fall 2017, when it will be approximately $1.2 million and remain steady throughout the state.

LaMaster believes that the marketing process has been smooth and that they have reached students through multiple outlets, from messages on Webportal and Blackboard to mass emails, speaking with associate and assistant deans and Associated Students.

“There is no way possible that we’d be able to support these type of academically related programs without the students participation in the (Student Success Fee),” LaMaster said.

In the spring semester there will be an evaluation of the process from the pilot semester to correct some of the glitches from this semesters’ application process. The CFAC’s goal is to make the proposal process as welcoming as possible for students to apply.

“I would absolutely encourage every student to think about what they would like in their academic experience that they couldn’t get without the opportunity of these funds,” LaMaster said.

Students can familiarize themselves with the grant application process online at studentsuccessfee.sdsu.edu.

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