PEAK Grant

The PEAK (Professional Experience and Knowledge) Program at Francis Marion University solicits proposals for funding new and existing programs that develop students’ professional knowledge and career-readiness skills. See below for a list of project ideas.

PEAK grant amounts may vary depending upon competing grants, funds availability, and review of proposed program activities.

How to Apply

Faculty may apply for PEAK grants by completing the online application, which includes a detailed description of the proposed activity and an itemized budget. Faculty must agree to complete assessment requirements and agree to have their students participate in program assessment activities.

Successful applications will make a convincing argument for how the proposed program activity meets the PEAK program and student learning outcomes, which are addressed in the following section.

How are Applications Evaluated?

A nine-person committee of elected representatives evaluates and approves PEAK funding requests. The committee uses a RUBRIC to evaluate each application.

Successful applications address how the proposed program activities fit within the scope of PEAK’s program learning outcomes (PLOs):

  • Increase students’ understanding of how academic learning can be applied in professional contexts.
  • Allow students to acquire career-readiness skills, such as interpersonal communication, resume-building, interviewing, networking, professional appearance, and etiquette.
  • Increase students’ opportunities for internships and other professional experiences.


Successful applications also explain how the proposed activity helps students to achieve one or more of the following student learning outcomes (SLOs):

After engaging in PEAK program activities, students will demonstrate that they:

  • Understand how the skills and knowledge that they have developed as students can be applied in work environments.
  • Can define common practices and typical job responsibilities within their chosen field.
  • Have increased self-confidence while engaging in professional activities, such as job interviews.
  • Have developed connections with potential employers.

Potential PEAK Activities

PEAK activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Workshops on resume writing or interviewing skills
  • Bringing in HR professionals to speak or do mock interviews with students
  • Scholarships for certification programs
  • Attendance at leadership and training conferences
  • Funding for career exploration software (Career Fitter for example)
  • Scholarships for Exploring Your Potential modules
  • Lodging, meals and transportation costs for speakers
  • Stipend for a particularly worthy speaker
  • Transportation costs for students to attend events related to their profession
  • Funding internships
  • Funding job shadowing (a/k/a reimbursement for costs related to job shadowing)
  • Evening networking receptions (with food/beverages) with a certain type of employer at a local restaurant (business, government, law enforcement, journalists, public relations, educators, doctors, lawyers, etc.
  • Instructor pay for on-campus grad school exam prep — MCAT, GRE, LSAT, GMAT
  • Reimbursement for group site visits to prospective employers
  • Networking events
  • Resume-building or interviewing activities
  • “Soft-skills,” professional appearance, or etiquette seminars
  • Any other learning experience that prepares students to transition from the classroom to the workplace.

Additional Requirements

When writing a PEAK grant proposal, please observe the following additional requirements:

  • PEAK grants are open to academic programs only. One faculty member should be identified as the principal investigator.
  • Requests may be up to $5000.
  • Activities involving travel must follow FMU’s Accounting Policies.
  • PEAK grants will not pay for faculty salaries.
  • Multi-year grant proposals are not allowed. However, faculty may re-apply in subsequent years for ongoing activities.
  • Faculty cannot be paid a stipend for research related to a PEAK grant.
  • Student wages will follow FMU’s student pay scale guidelines.
  • Funds are only for undergraduate students.


Please select the appropriate survey and complete. Your submission will automatically be sent to the FMU PEAK Committee.

PEAK Committee Members

Contact any of the PEAK Committee members below with questions, comments, or concerns.

photo of Marie DeVincenzo

Dr. Marie DeVincenzo

Palmetto Professor of Business, Associate Professor of Marketing

Office: FH 269
Phone: 843-661-1417

Photo of Faith Keller

Faith Keller

Reference Librarian
Associate Professor

Office: Rogers Library
Phone: 843-661-1399

woman smiling

Dr. Christine Masters-Wheeler

Associate Professor of English, Professional Writing Program Coordinator

Office: FH 102
Phone: 843-661-1806

Photo of Kimberly McCuiston

Dr. Kimberly McCuiston

Associate Professor of Education
Director of Undergraduate Clinical Experiences

Office: CEMC 212A
Phone: 843-661-1462

Photo of Kay Packett

Kay Thomas Packett

Associate Professor of Mass Communication

Office: CEMC 111D
Phone: 843-661-1617

photo of Jan Serrano

Dr. Jan M. Serrano

Associate Professor of Finance

Office: FH 272
Phone: 843-661-1620

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Dr. Megan Haggard

Associate Professor of Psychology

Office: CEMC 109-I
Phone: 843-661-4685

Photo of Nicole Panza

Dr. Nicole Panza

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Office: LSF 409E
Phone: 843-661-1585

woman smiling

Sarah Kershner PhD, MPH

Chair, Department of Healthcare Administration
Associate Professor

Office: LNB 128
Phone: 843-661-1694