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EIU Faculty Development and Innovation Center


General Education D, W, F Collaborative Redesign Initiative:

Improving Retention and Graduate Rates

Request for Proposals

Due: March 15, 2024


This proposal supports PLAN 2028’s goal (see Activity 1.22) of improving EIU’s retention and graduation rates for all learners. More specifically, the proposal assists and recognizes an academic department who seeks to address high D, W, and F rates in an identified general education course within their department. The department should submit a 1-page redesign proposal to the Faculty Development and Innovation Center that outlines how all sections of the identified general education course will be redesigned and implemented in Fall 2024. The redesign should focus on implementing different pedagogies that foster student success. 

Download an electronic copy of the Request for Proposals.

Proposals can be submitted via email to: by 5pm on Friday March 15, 2024.

For questions or assistance developing a proposal for a course redesign, please contact Dr. Ryan Hendrickson, Interim Provost ( or Dr. Michael Gillespie, Director of the FDIC (

DWF Faculty Roundtable and Discussion: February 28, 2024, 3p - 4p, Center for Student Innovation (1220 Booth)

The VPAA Office and FDIC will host a faculty roundtable discussion this DWF initiative and broader efforts at EIU to address this issue. Panelists include: Dr. Mona Davenport, Dean of Student Success; Mr. Danny Gourley Fischer, Director of Academic Advising; Dr. Nora Heist, Assistant Professor and Basic Course Director, School of Communication and Journalism; Dr. Edward Treadwell, Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Dr. Angela Vietto, Professor and Chair, Department of English.

We welcome the participation of faculty and chairpersons as we navigate these issues and broader impacts on teaching and learning at EIU. 

Preregistration is not required for this event; this roundtable will also be available on Zoom:

Eligible Courses:

Eligible courses meet the following criteria:

  • 1000 or 2000 level general education course
  • Course must have two or more sections in Fall 2024 or Fall 2025
  • Course must enroll more than 50 students in total across all sections

For a list of eligible courses based on Fall 2021, Fall 2022, and Fall 2023 three-year averages, please refer to this document.

Request for Proposals:

Each proposal should address the perceived course challenges that contribute to high D, W, and F rates in the specific course, and how these factors will be addressed in the redesigned course. These factors may include, but are not limited to, types and frequency of assessments, frequency of interaction with course instructor(s), form or modality of instruction, use of remedial content, underutilized and unoptimized use of technology, course-specific advising practices and tutoring, student-to-student engagement within the class, and potential misalignment of learning objectives with learning activities.   

The content of the 1-page proposal should include the following:

  1. Department Name
  2. Course Name and Number
  3. Department Chair
  4. Faculty Redesign Coordinator
  5. Other redesign participants (faculty, staff, students)
  6. Identify at least three and no more than five changes in the design and/or structure of the course that may have an impact on the high D, W, and F percent for the course.
  7. Proposed timeline for Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 through which the course will be redesigned.


Proposals will be evaluated by the Director of the FDIC, the Dean of Student Succes, a representative from CAA, and a representative from the Council of Chairs. This team will evaluate submissions based on:

  • Perceived course challenges and their proposed changes / redesign
  • Realistic timeline for redesign and implementation
  • Utilization of collaborative redesign grants and the FDIC
  • Course mean DWF percent (Fall 2021, Fall 2022, and Fall 2023)
  • Course mean enrollment (Fall 2021, Fall 2022, and Fall 2023)

All planning and redesign must be completed ahead of the Fall 2024 semester.


Ten awards will be given to departments that identify a single eligible general education course for redesign. To advance this critical work, successful departments will receive:

  • $5,000.000 in collaborative redesign grants in Summer 2024;
  • 0.25 CUs for a faculty redesign leader or spread across a redesign team for the Summer 2024;
  • Direct consultation and support from the FDIC.


Collaborative redesign grants can be used for professional development opportunities, course materials, and other activities related to the redesign of the identified course. Chairs and faculty can work with the FDIC director to ensure proper expenditure of funds.

Redesign Support:

The department chair and faculty redesign coordinator/team will have access to the FDIC Instructional Designer, Kim Ervin, and Director, Dr. Michael Gillespie, during spring and summer 2024 for considered and tailored consultation to assist in the redesign efforts.

This consultation will include:

  • An assessment of the current course design;
  • A workshop on the backward course design process specific to awardees;
  • On-going support from the FDIC Team.


Combining content experts from the department with instructional design principles will allow for effective teaching strategies to be merged with the essentials of the discipline to ensure best pedagogical practices.


For those departments that reduce the DWF rate across all combined sections by more than 7.5 percentage points in Fall 2024 or Fall 2025 as compared to the prior three-year average (Falls 2021, 2022, & 2023), the University will provide a one-time unrestricted investment to the department’s gift account of $7,500.

  • For example, a course which had a three-year average DFW rate of 27.0% across all section and the observed DFW rate in Fall 2024 or Fall 2025 was 19.5% across all sections would qualify for the one-time investment.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Dr. Michael Gillespie, Director, FDIC


Kim Ervin
Instructional Designer


Faculty Development and Innovation Center

1105 Booth

David Smith
Instructional Support and Training Specialist


Keerthana Saraswathula
Instructional Support and Training Specialist


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