NetVUE Institutions Advance through Grants

2016–2017 Grants Awarded

This summer, ten institutional members of CIC’s Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) received Professional Development Awards and 33 were awarded Vocation Exploration Renewal Grants (see lists below). Administered by CIC and generously funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., the grant programs help NetVUE member institutions enrich the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation among undergraduate students.
Institutions that received a Professional Development Award were provided $5,000–$10,000 for the 2016–2017 academic year. Each of the award recipients proposed a professional development initiative to help faculty and staff members more fully engage students in their quest for identity, meaning, and purpose.
Recipients of Vocation Exploration Renewal Grants received up to $25,000 to refocus and reinvigorate vocational exploration programs for undergraduate education during the 2016–2017 academic year. These grants were provided to institutions that already had made substantial and long-term investments in vocation initiatives.

2016–2017 NetVUE Professional Development Award Recipients

Albion College (MI)
Bellarmine University (KY)
Belmont University (TN)
Dominican University (IL)
Dordt College (IA)
Lewis University (IL)
Point Loma Nazarene University (CA)
Schreiner University (TX)
Simpson College (IA)
University of Saint Mary (KS)

2016–2017 Vocation Exploration Renewal Grant Recipients

Ashland University (OH)
Assumption College (MA)
Bluffton University (OH)
Butler University (IN)
Calvin College (MI)
Elizabethtown College (PA)
Erskine College (SC)
Fairfield University (CT)
Georgetown College (KY)
Goshen College (IN)
Grand View University (IA)
Gustavus Adolphus College (MN)
Hendrix College (AR)
Holy Cross College (IN)
Hope College (MI)
Houghton College (NY)
Luther College (IA)
Manchester University (IN)
Marian University (IN)
Messiah College (PA)
Millsaps College (MS)
Montreat College (NC)
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Our Lady of the Lake College (LA)
Our Lady of the Lake University (TX)
Palm Beach Atlantic University (FL)
Saint Louis University (MO)
Saint Mary’s College (IN)
St. Edward’s University (TX)
University of Dayton (OH)
University of Indianapolis (IN)
Valparaiso University (IN)
Wartburg College (IA)

Program Development Grants Available

NetVUE Program Development Grants deepen, expand, or otherwise strengthen vocational exploration programs that are already underway and supported by NetVUE member colleges and universities. Institutions that qualify are eligible for between $25,000 and $50,000 for use over a two-year period. The first four rounds of Program Development Grants have aided 107 NetVUE colleges and universities. The application deadline for the fifth round of funding is September 16, 2016; for more information visit the grant website.
This spring, NetVUE campus leaders reported outcomes of vocation initiatives that Program Development Grants supported from 2014 to 2016. The reports show that several NetVUE-member colleges and universities integrated their programmatic efforts with institutional mission and vision, and other efforts focused on either curricular change or an overhaul of student advising and mentoring. The grants also allowed for some notable and creative approaches to educating for vocation that included:
  • Expanded use of online vocational assessment tools for students to explore strengths, talents, interests, and future work settings;
  • Revised strategies to enhance holistic advising that involved substantial training of faculty and staff members;
  • Fresh approaches for the exploration of purpose and meaning by transfer students;
  • Robust performance evaluations of work-study students that included vocational reflection;
  • Incorporation of vocation-based writing themes into first-year composition classes;
  • Advances in coordinating service-learning opportunities with assessments of student personal development; and
  • The use of honors courses to test vocation-themed modules prior to broad availability.
Many of these colleges and universities were thoughtful about integrating grant initiatives with existing structures and commented explicitly about the changes that resulted. Several noted the connections between vocation projects and campus strategic plans. To sustain these efforts institutions are raising funds and establishing long-term structures to support vocational exploration initiatives. Although leadership turnover slowed the process at times, the use of campus-wide teams and steering committees provided the engines for continued progress.
NetVUE membership currently includes 204 colleges and universities across a broad spectrum of institutions with both Christian and nonsectarian roots. Institutions can join NetVUE at any time. For more information on NetVUE’s programs and services, visit For questions, contact Shirley Roels, CIC senior advisor and NetVUE director, at (616) 526-7819 or