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Academic Affairs Newsletter

April 2024

Supporting Faculty & Staff: Office of Sponsored Projects


The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) at Weber State University is a key player in research and program development, dedicated to creating a space where creativity, teamwork, and community thrive. This office is at the heart of managing sponsored projects, taking care of everything from the first review of proposals to securing grants and contracts from various sources like government agencies, foundations and private organizations. OSP supports faculty and staff from start to finish, offering a complete package of services for both preparing for and managing grants.

Before a grant is awarded, OSP is there to help assemble a successful application. They offer a helping hand with developing the project idea, crafting the proposal, managing the project, editing, figuring out the budget and finally, submitting the proposal. They’ve assigned specific team members to different departments within the university, ensuring personalized support is available. This ensures that researchers have all they need to navigate the funding landscape smoothly, understand the rules, create strong proposals, and set up realistic budgets that align with regulations.

After the grant is awarded, OSP steps in to help finalize the agreement, making sure everything is in line with regulations and managing the grant funds effectively. This careful management is key to keeping the project on track, ensuring it meets all financial and legal standards and the funds are used as intended. OSP also offers resources for finding more funding opportunities, like access to Pivot, a database full of funding options from around the globe. They advise a careful read of funding guidelines to make sure proposals hit the mark and encourage using their review services to boost the chances of success.

In essence, OSP at Weber State University plays a crucial role in the journey of a university’s research projects, from the initial idea to the outcomes. With their expert advice on developing proposals, finding funding, adhering to regulations and managing finances, OSP ensures that faculty and staff can concentrate on making meaningful scientific and academic contributions, bringing great benefits to the academic world and beyond.

The John A. Lindquist Award recognizes the excellent work of Weber State faculty and staff who demonstrate sustained and outstanding commitment to mentoring students in learning through community engagement. We are pleased to announce this year’s recipient: Dr. Carla Trentelman, Professor of Sociology.

Carla prioritizes engaging students in the learning process through community engaged learning, undergraduate research and sustainability projects. She loves the Great Salt Lake and works tirelessly to try and save it. She is both a community-engaged practitioner and scholar with an extensive body of work that started as a student in 1979, at Weber State College when she served as a Vista Volunteer. Later, when Carla returned to academia as a Weber State adjunct professor in 2005, she employed community-based research pedagogy in a research methods class for the first time.

In 2006, the university formally institutionalized support for faculty like Carla, who utilized community-engaged pedagogies, by establishing the Community Involvement Center (CIC). Carla says, “It feels like the CIC and I kind of grew up together here.” Indeed, they did. Professionally, Carla moved to a tenure-track position, and the CIC became the Center for Community Engaged Learning.

Carla has taught over 55 classes using community engaged learning and three courses using community-based research throughout her career at Weber State. She has worked with numerous community organizations and has developed especially close relationships with Catholic Community Services, Weber Housing Authority and Ogden School District. She has used her expertise to help solve challenges facing the Ogden School District, served as a faculty researcher for the Ogden United Promise Neighborhoods project at United Way of Northern Utah, chaired the post-secondary committee of the Ogden Civic Action Network and conducted research on water conversation at Weber State that resulted in the creation of the Water Conservation Coordinator position.

2024 John A. Lindquist Award Recipient: Carla Trentelman

Anne Bialowas

Since 2015, Carla continues to serve regularly in the food pantry of Catholic Community Services. Carla’s innovative teaching, research, and servant leadership have significantly impacted the lives of students, faculty and staff, the Weber State campus and our community.

Thrive Symposium Conference


CETL EventCongratulations to the Thrive Symposium Award recipients. The banquet was held on March 27th to recognize faculty excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.

The awards are the Presidential Teaching Excellence Award, the Ambrose Amos Shaw Endowed Chair Award, Innovative Teaching Grants, the Course Materials Affordability Award, the eLearning Participant of the Year Award and the CETL Thrive Awards.

 2024 Award Recipients 

The Growing Importance of Meeting Adult Learners Where They Are


The some-college, no-credential (SCNC) population in the United States is immense, with 40.4 million people nationwide fitting that definition as of 2021, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. With Utah hitting the 18-24-year-old demographic cliff within a decade, students who have some college and no credential will become even more important for our university. 

In order to meet the needs of that population, however, we must first address some sobering realities. While the number of people with some college and no degree is massive, the number of people who reenroll is not. In the 2021/22 academic year, more than 864,000 students reenrolled. That’s just 2.1 percent of the entire population. Why the large disparity? While reasons are undoubtedly varied, a few reports give us insight. 

First, a look at why they leave in the first place: Thirty-two percent of respondents said they initially left their institution because of personal/family issues, according to a survey conducted by UPCEA and Straighterline and published in November of 2021. Another 24% said money. Eleven percent said work/pursuing a career path. Respondents who have not re-engaged cite the following as the most common reasons: not interested/have no direct reason to (24%), time/commitment issues (20%) and personal/family issues (19%). 

Some of the same reasons that influenced students’ decision to leave still loom large in their lives. This begs the question: How can we at Weber State University (WSU) remove those barriers? At first, it might seem like it’s outside the scope of our power and influence. If we read between the lines, however, we see an overarching problem: fitting college around your life is tough. 

Access is increased with asynchronous online programs. While going to school will still take time for online students, it will be on their time, finding the opportunities to chip away at their schooling when the kids are in bed or their shift is over. WSU is already working on removing barriers with fully online degree programs.

WSU is already working on removing barriers with fully online degree programs. WSU could also make a significant impact on personal/family issues, focusing on support services to ease the burden of conflicts between school and family life. The support services are robust on campus but need to further complement a fully online student’s educational experience.

The biggest percentage, not interested/have no direct reason to, may speak to a disconnect between the perceived and actual value of a college degree. Strong evidence of the value of a bachelor’s degree still exists. A 2023 study from Matt Sigelman of the Burning Glass Institute and higher education author Jeffrey Selingo found that the B.A. delivers a 25% percent wage premium within a year of graduation, and that held steady for the following 12 years. 

Nevertheless, that doesn’t always match public perception, and students are indicating a desire for smaller educational packages to earn and credit along the way. In the study mentioned at the beginning of this article, respondents who indicated that there was something the institution could have done to keep them enrolled listed a certificate for credits earned as the top retention tactic (43%). 

We’re seeing similar desires within Weber State: 

  • 63% of bachelor’s degree graduates previously completed an associate’s degree or certification prior to earning their bachelor’s degree. 
  • The number of undergraduate certificates awarded has grown 300% from 2020 to 2023. 

Smaller learning packages are stackable options, serving as not only achievements but also stepping stones to a full degree. In the report Disengaged Learners & Return Paths to Higher Education, respondents who had some college, no degree expressed a strong desire for additional value:

  • 78% said credit for prior learning would either increase or greatly increase their interest in pursuing an undergraduate degree.
  • 76% said that microcredentials that indicate knowledge or skills and can stack toward larger credentials would either greatly increase their interest in pursuing a degree

In sum, we’re moving in the right direction, but we have some ways to go. If we can meet SCNC students where they are with options that meet their needs, we can begin to close the gap between stopped-out students and re-enrollment.

Weber State Data: Empowering Student Success Through Analytics


Data NewsletterWeber State Data represents a collaborative effort among the Offices of Student Success Analytics (OSSA), Institutional Research (IR), Institutional Effectiveness (IE) and Information Technology (IT). Our mission is clear: to provide the Weber State University (WSU) community with high-quality data resources, tools and support to empower informed decision-making, which drives student success.

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