Description: Growing and innovating in graduate education is a key element of the Lehigh Strategic Plan, Inspiring the Future Makers.. Recognizing the dynamic nature of the workforce and demand for new skills in the workplace, Lehigh should play a role in delivering best-in-class graduate programs, online and in-person. To do this we must continuously invest in our graduate program portfolio.

Program Structure:

Funding available: Loan amounts of up to $500,000 (one time funds) per award; up to 3 awards.

Funding will be applied according to the following model (assumes that the program being supported is a 30 credit masters or 15 credit certificate program):

  • Hire a full time program director (preferably a teaching track faculty member).
  • Support of marketing and communications efforts. Specific expenditure of these funds will be approved by the DPGE and they may be spent centrally. 
  • Online course development funds (may be used internally or externally).
  • Offload teaching support may be provided for faculty teaching beyond their required teaching assignments.

Timing: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviews will begin May 31, 2024. Initial awards will be announced in June 2024. Work can begin immediately. 

Eligibility: All faculty are invited to propose ideas to their Department Chair/Program Director for consideration. The co-lead must include a Dean or Department Chair (with approval from the Dean). The University will consider no more than 2 proposals per college. Inter-college proposals are highly encouraged.

Loan terms: The Provost’s office will invest funds in these efforts which will be paid back in part by revenue to the University.  As this Future Maker’s grant is intended to incentivize and reward program development, revenues will be shared among the Provost, College, and Program, beginning in Year 1.

  • Loan repayments are deferred as long as the program is growing by more than 20% year over year. Distribution arrangements will be based on the graduate revenue policy. 
  • When loan repayments are required, they will typically be 50% of the new department/college revenue.
  • 10% of the net tuition revenue will be provided directly to the program and can be used to support research or other academic initiatives.

Submission Details: To apply, submit a document of no more than two pages through InfoReady

Proposals should focus on one or more of the following: 

  • Transition an existing in-person program to an online program.
  • Development of new program, in-person or online.
  • Scale enrollment for online or in-person existing program (increase by more than 25 students in year 1, more than 50 students in year 2 and beyond).

Proposals must include the following sections:

  1. A market need statement.  Who is the target audience, and what gap are we trying to fill? Who is the competition? 
  2. A curricular structure overview. This structure should be informed by the target audience and map to the market need. Lean strategies (leveraging existing courses and Lehigh talent) will be viewed favorably.
  3. A development timeline, including personnel involved in development.
  4. A narrative about anticipated enrollment projections, cours development needs, barriers and faculty resource needs. 
  5. In lieu of a detailed budget, provide a narrative about anticipated enrollment projections, course development needs, barriers and faculty resource needs. (Note: approved budget items are listed in the “Budget” section above).
NOTE: The Provost office will have final approval over setting of tuition price and average discount based on market analysis and target audience. If the program will benefit from an OPM partnership, the Provost office will approve the OPM. 

Selection criteria: Proposals will be assessed based on several criteria, most notably:

  • The value proposition of the proposed program. 
  • Evidence of a compelling market need.
  • Lehigh’s ability to deliver high quality content on the subject matter. 
  • Alignment with the strategic plan in the areas of interdisciplinarity, lifelong learning.
  • Programs employing Universal Design for Inquiry (UDI) will be given preference.

Award expectations: If a proposal is selected for further consideration, the program development team is expected to meet with DPGE to discuss the curriculum, course development needs, and student outcomes. Programs, upon launch, are expected to have the following:

  1. A list of measurable and learner-focused program educational objectives. These PEOs should guide all content development in the program. 
  2. A program marketing plan will be developed in collaboration with the College marketing team and the DPGE.
  3. An assessment and continuous improvement plan, slated to begin 2 years after program initiation.
  4. Alignment with established University quality standards.