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CLS Class Highlight – Development and Grant Writing

grant writing

What class?

Development and Grant Writing

Why is it cool?

Grant writing is an increasingly important professional skill to learn. Permanent funding sources are subject to the economic tide, leaving special projects, initiatives and research interests with questionable levels of financial support. Employment opportunities, especially those in the nonprofit arena, are becoming more and more dependent upon grant awards and their employees’ abilities to win them.

If you recently entered the world of grant writing, or if you’re just now starting to wonder if government funding might be right for your organization, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. In fact, putting together polished grants can seem like such an intimidating task that many organizations are willing to pay big bucks for employees familiar with the process. Luckily, CLS offers grant writing courses to help you roll up your sleeves and get to writing! Our undergraduate and graduate-level courses are designed to appeal to a wide variety of professions, so you will be able to keep your assignments relevant to your specific field and become even more valuable to your company in the process.

“Learning how to apply for and be awarded money to support your ideas is about as great as it gets!” said Carla Winters, subject matter expert for Development and Grant Writing. “This expertise makes applicants extremely competitive in the job market as external funding is increasingly depended upon for projects in all professions.”

The Development and Grant Writing courses use an updated learning approach compared to traditional methods of grant writing. The process is intentionally broken down into unintimidating steps for students to easily understand. In addition to hand-selected written resources for students, the courses also use a multimedia approach to communicate many more details than what might be found in a book.

“We have filmed interviews with experienced professionals offering lessons that have come out of their many years of work.”

“We have filmed interviews with experienced professionals offering lessons that have come out of their many years of work,” Winters explained. These interviews with professional grant writers and reviewers provide insight based on years of experience writing competitive proposals.

“There are also interactive practice exercises, designed specifically for the courses, that will allow students to work through the process and gain an additional level of confidence with the creation of competitive applications. All assignments are designed to provide students with grant writing experiences that will be beneficial to what might be expected in their work environments.”

Strategies for increasing a proposal’s chances of acceptance and common mistakes to avoid are also discussed in depth throughout the class. Students are asked to evaluate proposals from the funder’s perspective, giving them even more insight into what makes a successful grant application.

“In addition to the typical navigation of the grant selection and application process, my hope is that students gain a forward-thinking mindset toward creating successful grant writing techniques,” Winters said. “For example, the courses incorporate findings from social and behavioral research as to how and why people make decisions. Students are encouraged to employ techniques from these studies in their applications, lending an additional layer of communication to their proposed projects. The courses also provide ungraded practice opportunities that allow students to establish a level of confidence they can take back to their professional settings.”

Development and Grant Writing is offered at both the undergraduate and the graduate level. Contact your advisor to see if it might be right for you, or take a look at some of the other classes offered by the College of Liberal Studies.

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The College of Liberal Studies is a fully accredited academic unit of the University of Oklahoma, offering 100% online, hybrid and onsite bachelor's and master's degrees for working adults and non-traditional students.

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