Teaching Innovations Program (TIP)

Introduction to the Teaching Innovations Program (TIP)

Montclair State University faculty develop courses and their own pedagogical practices continually in response to student needs and developments in their field and in teaching and learning. As committed professionals, faculty seek out development through programs and expertise offered on and off campus. Further, faculty makes efforts to come together in teams for curricular initiatives as they develop and re-develop courses in their majors and other programs.

However, faculty teamwork is challenged by time and space. Faculty seldom have the opportunity for sustained collaborative work on teaching and learning, and even less often are they provided with the opportunity to receive feedback from faculty outside their disciplines and with expertise in teaching and learning. The Teaching Innovations Program (TIP) seeks to fill this void through a year-long program that scaffolds faculty teams developing or redesigning a course or academic program with support from the Office for Faculty Excellence staff and other University partners.

TIP provides faculty with an opportunity to address a challenge or opportunity in teaching and learning that will be impactful for student learning and success, substantially improving an existing program or course, for example, or creating a new program or course. Faculty who complete the program are eligible for a $2000 honorarium. See full details below.

The program will focus on a different theme for teaching and learning each year. Example foci include general education, adaptive learning, fostering belonging, etc. Each year’s foci and requirements will be announced in advance, and in consultation with the Provost, with the aim of responding to current opportunities and challenges.

This year-long program begins with faculty identifying an issue to work on throughout the program in response to the thematic call which will specify the focus. Accepted participants will hone a plan for tackling the problem or opportunity with OFE’s help, working out the details of the new or revised course or program in the three-day intensive workshop in June. The revised course or program will be piloted in the Fall, with milestone meetings and deadlines to support the project. These milestone meetings and activities provide an opportunity for reflection and revision of the plan for the spring semester, and a final action plan detailing the team’s plan for sustaining their work. With receipt of a plan

The OFE staff will provide support to individual teams, and also to the cohort as a whole, providing development in teaching and learning topics as needed according to theme and participant projects.

2023-2024 Theme: Learning Environments that Promote Belonging and Support Learning

Much talk on campus and beyond these last few years has been about creating learning environments that foster belonging and support student success across student populations. We can all applaud these goals, but finding the time and help to create such learning environments can be difficult. The goal of the 2023-2024 program is to provide faculty with support and time to adopt and adapt evidence-based interventions and teaching strategies that increase equity, promote engagement, and support academic success in specific courses and/or programs.

Following research on psychological and social interventions that lead to improved student success, faculty teams will select two or three specific interventions or practices to adopt and implement in their program. Teams will select their own interventions and practices from a recommended library of practices, adapting them to their own contexts. Faculty will also select a set of measures to evaluate students’ experiences with these interventions and practices, enabling them to continue to refine their practices over the course of the program.

The OFE will support the faculty teams, providing data on students’ experiences, reviewing key research findings on effective classroom practices, and helping teams design and implement their practices and interventions. The OFE will also support strategies for gathering data on students’ experiences, through surveys, focus groups, and accessing other university data sources.


  • Participants must have a full-time appointment as a Tenure-Track or Tenured member- of the Faculty or as an NTTP (instructional or clinical specialist).
  • Participants must be fully available on the defined dates in June — see below

Criteria for Evaluation

Proposals will be evaluated by the OFE Executive Director on the basis of:

  • Potential value for student success as defined by Montclair’s strategic plan
  • Feasibility
  • Appropriateness to theme

Applications will be reviewed by the Executive Director and their designees.

Note: Priority will be given to projects that hold the most potential for sustained positive impact to the University and are aligned with the strategic directions and plan of the University, which evolve given the rapidly shifting challenges facing public higher education.

General Proposal Components

Faculty interested in TIP will submit an application from teams comprising two to five faculty and/or Instructional/Clinical Specialists. The applicants will write a proposal no longer than three pages in response to the annual call:

  1. Proposes a course or program for development and redesign.
  2. Describes the problem or opportunity that their application is addressing, per the annual call.
  3. Proposes a strategy for addressing the problem, how this program will be supportive, and how the OFE can be helpful.
  4. Summarizes the value that the program will have for the individuals and how they are well suited for this project, including whether they have taught the course or in the program, and whether they intend to teach in the course/program in the next academic year.

In addition, applications should include a letter of support from the relevant Department Chairperson or ADF affirming how the primary unit can provide specific support to the success of the program. This might include pledging to schedule faculty in target courses, to ask the unit to adopt the proposal for course or program-wide implementation, etc.

Further Guidance for 23-24 Theme

  1. Explain the rationale for selecting this course or set of related courses. Some questions you might consider: Are students’ struggling? Do you observe or suspect inequitable outcomes? Are students leaving your program because of this course? Or is this simply an early required course that can set students on the right path (or not).
  2. Select two or three practices or interventions that your group would like to develop for your project. To make these choices, browse the library of material on social belonging and the student success experience offered by the College Transition Collaborative SEP Practices library. You are not limited to these practices, but this collection is an excellent place to start. From your review – and you needn’t try to become expert if this field is relatively new to you – select two or three practices or interventions that your group would like to develop for your project, and explain why these strike you as good choices for your context.
  3. Write a bit about you as individuals and a team. Why do you want to do this? What do you anticipate gaining from the experience? What assets and strengths do you bring to the project?

Resource Library: https://collegetransitioncollaborative.org/sep-practices-library/ from the Student Experiences Project, and especially Supportive Instructor & Course Interactions. Teams are not limited to these resources, activities or interventions.

*Program here might be a major, minor, general education course, as examples.



  • June: $1,000 (per person), with attendance at the June 3-day workshop: Dates: June 13, 14 and 15. Faculty need to be available all day each day to get all the work done. The workshop will be held in-person, 9:30-4:30. We will meet as a full team to discuss common goals and strategies and share teams’ emerging plans, but much of the time will be devoted to teams working at planning, writing, and executing all the details of their interventions.
  • January (of the next year): $500 (per person) with submission of a completed Redesign Memo
  • June (of the next year): $500 (per person) with submission of a completed Final Report Action Plan
  • If the team’s Final Report Action Plan is approved by the department chairperson or school ADF, up to $1,000 will be available to the team to support the implementation of the Action Plan. The $1,000 will be for use in support of the program, jointly agreed on.

During the implementation year, after the planning workshop, teams will meet with OFE staff at least twice and will provide three memos.

Detailed Schedule of Activities

Schedule of Activities

April 28, 2023: Call for applications
May 12, 2023: Applications due. Email programs to Isaacse@montclair.edu with a copy to faculty@montclair.edu.
May 17, 2023: Decisions communicated to applicant groups.
May 18-June 9, 2023: Initial team meetings to clarify plan and identify team needs
June 13, 14 & 15 2023: Three-day workshop for all participants to jumpstart and work out the details of the new or revised course or program.
August 1, 2023: Submit brief memo for the Fall implementation and meet with OFE Staff to finalize fall implementation
October, 2023: Check in meeting with OFE Staff
January 5, 2024: Revision Memo clarifying changes for Spring Semester
March, 2024: Check in meeting with OFE Staff
June 3, 2024: Final Action Plan due

Questions? Contact Emily Isaacs.