Starting Blocks – Student Success Champions

Student success is a primary goal of KSU and the University System of Georgia. The Starting Blocks program, where first-year students enroll in block scheduling, is a new initiative supporting student success. CETL is seeking applications from faculty members interested in participating in a year-long professional development and leadership initiative to receive support to incorporate and enhance strategies for student success in first-year, block-scheduled courses for their department or college. Selected champions will play an important role in supporting faculty across KSU to collectively meet the goals of this important initiative while also helping to build a culture of student success across all types of courses.   

Starting Blocks Student Success Champions will engage in a series of professional development opportunities related to strategies for teaching, learning, and student engagement that support student success in first-year, block-scheduled courses. Then, using what was learned from the professional development activities, champions will work to develop events and resources to help other faculty begin to implement these strategies in those block courses offered by their departments and colleges. Collectively, all the champions will contribute resources they develop toward composing a resource repository that will be available on-demand for all faculty at KSU.  

This opportunity is appropriate for full-time faculty invested in teaching first-year, block-scheduled courses, who are excited to dive in deeper and learn more regarding the supporting research and theory related to student success in these courses, and who would enjoy sharing their knowledge and practice to support faculty getting started with a variety of strategies in their own courses.  
We will kick-off this program with a two-day Starting Blocks Student Success Summer Institute. Then, we will meet at least monthly throughout the year to check in on progress towards targeted products and activities. Champions will spend 5-8 hours each month producing and archiving resources, developing and executing further professional development activities for members in their college, and documenting efforts and results. 

Program Objectives 

  • Create a group of Student Success Starting Blocks Champions with an expanded view of their role as leaders
  • Develop multiple linked communities of practice among instructors for first-year, block-scheduled courses
  • Broadly engage instructors within communities of practice led by Starting Block Student Success Champions
  • Systematically communicate with instructors for first-year, block-scheduled courses including tips, reminders, notification of events, etc.
  • Regular user engagement with resources contained in archival repository by instructors for first-year, block-scheduled courses 

Expected Deliverables 

  • Engagement in the 2-day Summer Institute (June 26-27) and participation in one follow-up meeting (date TBD)
  • Engagement in at least 80% of monthly meetings (FA/SP 2024/2025)
  • Provide ongoing leadership (at least monthly contact) for the first-year, block-scheduled teaching community as a champion collaborating with other faculty
  • Develop and implement at least two professional development opportunities for faculty in their department and/or college (Fall and Spring 2024/2025)
  • Contribute evidence-based scholarly documentation supporting first-year, block-scheduled student success that is equivalent to a 4-6 page resource (Fall and Spring 2024/2025) 

Application Deadline 

Friday, May 3, 2024 at 11:59pm 


Faculty selected as Champions in this program will be provided materials to guide our early discussions.  

In addition, faculty who complete all deliverables for summer planning will receive $1,500 in summer non-instructional pay and a certificate of completion for this program. 

Finally, faculty who complete all deliverables for summer planning will receive $1000 in professional development funds to be used during the Fall 2024/Spring 2025 academic year in support of strategy implementation for those teaching the first-year, block-scheduled courses. 

Selection Criteria 

The goal is to have representation from all major units participating in first-year block-scheduling. Applications are competitive and will be evaluated on the following criteria: 

  1. Clear articulation of ways you have begun to explore student success strategies in block-scheduled courses. Please include details of your experience.
  2. A brief description of how you might envision supporting colleagues in your department/college to implement or further enhance their use of strategies for teaching, learning, and engagement supporting student success in first-year, block-scheduled courses. 
  3. Clear demonstration that the applicant has planned to devote time to participate in the program (i.e., the applicant has a defined plan for managing this project within his/her usual workload and integrating it into his/her service load).  


All full-time KSU faculty who are from a home department in a college participating in first-year block-scheduling. 

Selection and Application Process 

Each applicant must prepare the following materials. Once you submit your materials in InfoReady, your application will be routed to your supervisor/chair/director. We ask you let your supervisor/chair/director know to expect an email from the InfoReady System (display name may be Christina Ujj).  

  1. Statement of Interest (2,000 character max)
    • Provide a statement of interest that describes your 1) interest in teaching, learning, and engagement strategies related to student success in first-year, block-scheduled courses 2) how you have incorporated or would plan to incorporate these practices or strategies in the courses that you teach, including impact observed.
  2. Vision for Department or College-Specific Professional Development Program and Resources (2,000 character max)
    • Describe your vision for a college-specific professional development program or resources that you would develop to further support other colleagues in your college to begin to implement or further enhance their strategies for teaching, learning, and engagement in first-year, block-scheduled courses. (e.g., What tangible product(s) do you plan to produce at the culmination of this program? What are your plans for managing your time so that adequate time is devoted to this course and project?)
  3. Curriculum Vitae File Upload 


It will be the responsibility of the individual submitting the application to ensure all portions are complete.

The application is housed in the InfoReady system that will require use your KSU single-sign on credentials to access. After you submit the application, it will be routed to your supervisor(s)/chair(s)/director(s) for approval prior to the review from CETL. If you have any questions, please email

Apply Here