New Initiatives

Civic Engagement

The Civic Engagement initiative at GVSU strengthens our commitment to community-based and democratic learning. The Pew FTLC participates in the Civic Engagement Collective - a network of departments and individuals engaged in this work. We support faculty interested in either exploring or strengthening their community-based learning (CBL) pedagogy, we sponsor faculty learning communities around the topic, provide grant funding opportunities for community-based teaching projects, offer individual consultations on CBL course development, project integration and mutuality, and provide on-demand workshops.  Direct inquiries to Patty Stow Bolea, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow. 

Strong Start

How can we ensure that students begin their GV career with a strong start? This initiative, currently led by Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow Tom Pentecost, focuses faculty attention on best practices for engaging students in first-year undergraduate courses. 

Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive excellence refers to the use of pedagogical strategies that address the needs of students with a variety of backgrounds, learning interests, and abilities. These strategies contribute to an overall inclusive learning environment, in which students feel equally valued. The Pew FTLC is partnering with the Division of Inclusion and Equity to offer the Inclusive Excellence Teaching Institute, designed for faculty who desire to make inclusiveness a focus in their teaching. The Institute fosters cultural humility through examination of social identity, identifies barriers to learning for diverse student groups, and explores pedagogical approaches which promote an inclusive classroom environment. Direct inquiries to Dana Munk, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow. 


The Data Inquiry Lab (DIL) provides support for faculty- and student-led quantitative data management, visualization, and analysis.  From workshops, in-classroom demonstrations, to one-on-one consultation, the DIL’s purpose is to develop practical data skills of GVSU students, faculty, and staff. Direct inquiries to Whitt Kilburn, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow. 


In collaboration with University Libraries and eLearning and Emerging Technologies, we are supporting faculty efforts to incorporate educational technologies into their courses. Whether your course is face to face, fully online, or hybrid, we can help faculty locate, incorporate, and assess digital tools for engaging students. We have developed a website dedicated to providing overview of resources, services, and learning opportunities. Direct inquiries to Christine Rener, Pew FTLC Director.

Open Ed.

Open Educational Resources are textbooks, learning objects, and other educational materials that are open: they are free to use, have few or no access restrictions, and most can be freely remixed, customized, and adapted. The OER Initiative is a cross-campus collaboration, bringing together resources and services that support GVSU faculty interested in exploring, adopting, and creating OER. Partners include the Pew FTLC, the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence, the Laker Store, eLearning and Emerging Technologies, and University Libraries. An online OER guide can be found at: Direct inquiries to Christine Rener, Pew FTLC Director.

design thinking

In support of the university's Design Thinking Initiative, whose mission is to expand understanding of and experience with a collaborative process of interdisciplinary and integrative problem solving, the Pew FTLC provides interested faculty with additional professional development opportunities specifically related to teaching and learning.  We will continue to offer on-demand workshops for faculty to learn more about the model and its application in the classroom, sponsor faculty learning communities to further faculty understanding of the model, provide private consultations to those faculty interested in implementing the model, and provide grant funding opportunities for major design thinking teaching projects.  Contact Kathryn Stieler, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, for additional information.

Page last modified October 6, 2016