Faculty Affairs

Providing overall coordination for faculty-related personnel matters

Regents’ Momentum Year Award for Excellence in Teaching and Curricular Innovation


On behalf of the Board of Regents, the USG Office of Academic Affairs is pleased to announce and invite nominations for the Regents’ Momentum Year Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Curricular Innovation.

The Momentum Year Award for Excellence in Teaching is designed to honor teaching and instruction that promotes student achievement, promotes a purposeful program and career choice, and creates an environment where positive academic mindsets thrive, catapulting students toward degree completion. Excellence in teaching first-year students is critical to increasing student retention, progression, and graduation. Incorporating high-impact practices in order to create transformative experiences intended to deepen learning as a part of the first college year is central to this Momentum year award.


The award committee will look for persuasive evidence that nominees have:

  • Evidence of class assignments or teaching pedagogies that foster purposeful choice among students, specifically through the following: an introduction to or engagement in high-impact practices (e.g., undergraduate research, service learning, internships, etc.), active career exploration that helps students see the connection between the academic discipline and his/her/their major of choice, and engagement in deep and integrative learning.
  • Evidence of class assignments or teaching pedagogies that develop an internal sense of motivation and create a productive academic mindset, specifically by helping students discover purpose and value in coursework, develop resilience and adaptive perceptions of academic challenges, and cultivate a sense of belonging in the college context.
  • Evidence of impact beyond individual classes, such as program alignment with Momentum Year goals, or work with other campus units engaged in Momentum Year activities. (Teaching and Learning Academies, etc.).
  • Evidence of participation in an on-going and data-driven process for reviewing and reshaping curricula (course redesign, Gateways to Completion).
  • Engaged in the systematic examination of issues about student learning and instructional conditions which promote learning, building on previous scholarship and the research literature.
  • Created and documented the use of evidence-based strategies that support and foster growth mindsets with out-of-class experiences that emphasize the tenets of growth mindset, identify the purpose and value of higher education, and create a more inclusive culture.
  • Developed a well-articulated teaching philosophy which propels the work of the USG’s Momentum Year.

Eligibility and Nomination Procedures

Each institution is invited to submit one department or program nomination for this award. Campus nomination procedures should be determined by each institution; each nomination must be approved by the institution’s chief academic officer.

Required Documentation

Nomination portfolios are limited to 20 pages, including any appendices (1” margins, minimum 12-point font for each section below). Incorporating every kind of evidence will be impossible. Instead, each nominee will want to select only the strongest and most relevant evidence. Each portfolio must include the following information. NOTE: The TOC and the nomination letter do not count toward the maximum of 20 pages.

  • A Table of Contents for the portfolio. NOTE: The TOC does not count toward the maximum of 20 pages.
  • A nomination letter from the institution’s chief academic officer. NOTE: The nomination letter does not count toward the maximum of 20 pages.
  • A statement that outlines how this program supports the mission of the Momentum Year. (1-2 pages).
  • Data/evidence of the impact of their teaching techniques/pedagogies on student learning and its potential impact on teaching and learning in the discipline.
  • One or two letters of support from colleagues, one or two letters of support from students qualified to comment on the value and quality of the nominee’s activities, and their impact in improving undergraduate education and reaching the goals of the Momentum Year Program.

Award Committee

A special Regents committee, composed of faculty and administrators from across the USG who are experienced in teaching and learning practices, will review the nomination portfolios and recommend finalists for each award.

Note: All documents must be combined into a SINGLE pdf file and uploaded through the Regents Portfolio Submission System. Portfolios that exceed 20 pages or do not meet formatting requirements will not be accepted.