By Chris Avery
Applications closed on October 15, 2020 for the fall intake of the Student Enhancement Fund (SEF) provided as part of NAIT’s “Essential” campaign. The next intake for applications will close on February 1, 2021.
Applications can be submitted at any time throughout the year. Applications are open to NAIT staff and students with the goal to help recognize the efforts of exceptional initiatives.
Funding for the initiative is determined by the project’s budget as well as its targeted initiatives. With applications under $5,000 not considered and applications over $20,000 requiring recommendation from NAIT’S Executive, the range of possibilities is quite extensive for interested applicants.
The ability for both staff and students to collaborate represents an important opportunity.
The Associate Vice President, Polytechnic Education and Student Success, alison lewis (preferred spelling) describes how collaboration is key to success.
“We often find that applications are a collaborative effort between people. For instance, student applications often have the support of at least one NAIT staff member and staff applications are often based on student feedback,” said lewis.
To give an idea on some of the past initiatives that have succeeded in retaining funding, lewis placed an importance on events and space improvement projects.
“NAITSA submitted an application to improve student spaces through updated design and creative furniture [and] NAIT’s recreation department submitted an application to purchase stationary cycles that can be used as workstations,” said lewis.
The Business Information Centre (BIC) also outlined some of the key factors and considerations for possible applicants in a correspondence with the student body.
“Initiatives are evaluated based on key factors including measurable impact, sustainability, and creativity,” stated the BIC. Some of the other initiatives include student success, diversity and inclusion on campus, and NAIT’s reputation.
Representatives from NAIT and NAITSA compose the committee and handle the decision-making for the winning candidate. This ensures that applicants are provided a wide variety of perspectives.
“The SEF Committee is responsible for evaluating all SEF applications using the established process and criteria,” said BIC. The process and criteria are clearly established in an application rubric under the terms of reference.
It is important to note that in the email correspondence, the BIC mentioned that some areas of the Terms of Reference are to be altered during the October committee to reflect departmental or title changes and membership.
The best piece of advice lewis can give students is to “go for it.”
“If you have an initiative in mind and are prepared to put it into action, why not give it a shot? Make sure your application is thorough and complete. Make sure your initiative meets the application guidelines, that all information is provided and that you have included any supporting documents that could enhance your application.”