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Theresa Neil Memorial Research Fund

The Summer Session Research Consortium sponsors the Theresa Neil Memorial Research Fund in honor of Theresa Ann Neil, a nearly 20 year member of the staff at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Born in 1948, Theresa passed away on June 25, 1994 after an accident took her life and that of her husband, D.C. Neil. She served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Administration and Director of Continuing Education and Extension at Duluth.

2016 Call For Proposals (open until April 29, 2016)

The Summer Session Research Consortium, which consists of the:
  • North American Association of Summer Sessions (NAASS);
  • North Central Conference on Summer Schools (NCCSS);
  • Western Association of Summer Session Administrators (WASSA);
  • Association of University Summer Sessions (AUSS)
Amount of Award
The total available for the year 2016 is $10,000; one or two proposals will be supported from this amount.

Research Topics
The Consortium invites proposals that address pedagogical or administrative issues that pertain to summer session at North American colleges and universities. For example:
  • Analysis of summer faculty pay structures and administration of summer faculty.
  • Assessment of student needs, preferences, and expectations.
  • Effects of administrative reorganization (e.g. centralization/decentralization) and impacts of various organizational structures.
  • Analysis and reporting of various funding models and impacts of changes (e.g. change from state support to self-support).
  • Factors related to student choice to attend summer (e.g. availability of loans, grants, and other forms of aid, including reduced tuition and fees).
  • The impact of technologies used in summer sessions. 
  • Learning outcomes of compressed or time-intensive courses vs. full semester-length counterparts.
  • Relationship of economic factors (e.g. unemployment, recession, wage rate changes, etc.) and other factors external to the university environment to summer enrollment.
  • The effectiveness of particular marketing strategies.
The research must be on a topic of ongoing concern to summer session deans/directors generally. A project that is highly parochial in scope, or that addresses a topic of unlikely interest beyond a specific campus, will probably not be selected for funding with this program.

Proposals must be submitted electronically to the Research Consortium Chair, Patricia Suske ( by Friday, April 29, 2016. Funding decisions will be announced in June 2016. Prospective applicants should feel free to contact Patricia Suske by e-mail or telephone at 702-895-4351 with questions or to discuss their ideas.

Details about the award process are available within the 2016 Call for Proposals guidelines (PDF).

Recent Recipients

(2015) Valerie Lastinger, West Virginia University
Student Success and Summer Graduation: Summer Session Incentive Options to Increase Graduation Rates for Undergraduate Near-Completers ($5,000)
(2015) Loy Lytle, University of California-Santa Barbara
Intra- and Inter-Institutional Assessments of Summer Enrollment Impacts on Undergraduate Student Time-to-Degree ($9,640; split award of $5,000 in 2015 and $4,640 in 2016).
(2014) Bethany Summich, Kent State University
Comparison of Motivation of Learning Outcome Achievements in Shortened, Online, and Summer courses vs Their Full-time Counterparts ($6,300)
(2013) Elizabeth Beasley, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Analysis of the Individual Causes, Correlations, and Consequences of Transient Summer Session Credit ($6,000)
Past Summer Session Research Consortium Awards, 1974 - 2015 (PDF)

Western Association of Summer Sessions Administrators
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