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