Digitally Connected Campus Challenge Grant


Bradley University is leveraging T-Mobile’s 5G Advanced Network Solutions (ANS) and Apple’s considerable higher education experience and resources to create a student-centric Digitally Connected Campus. The purpose of this partnership is to improve digital equity for students, advance student success, enrich the learning environment, create an ecosystem supportive of academic innovation, and improve the university’s infrastructure and operations. The Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning (CTEL), with support from the Division of Strategy and Innovation, invites faculty and staff to submit proposals to advance these higher order goals.


The Digitally Connected Campus initiative includes the development of a private 5G network for all members of campus as well as personal access to iPads for students, full-time faculty and student-facing staff. Beginning in Fall 2023, all first-year students, some select student cohorts, full-time faculty, and select student-facing staff will receive iPads. A second round of iPad distribution is reserved for funded projects through this funding mechanism and will commence in January 2024. The program will be fully operational in Fall 2024.


Funds (up to $500/person for each award) are available to support the development of pedagogical, campus engagement, or collaborative partnership awards. An initial $250, which can be taken as a stipend or materials budget will be awarded to successful applicants who will be recognized as Discovery Cohorts,and provided iPad devices for the 2023-24 academic year. The second installment of $250 will be disbursed to recipients upon submission of Discovery Outcomes.These materials should include a summary of the discovery activity, an assessment of outcomes, and a plan for implementation of the activity for delivery in Fall 2024. Challenge grant recipients will have the opportunity to share their project ideas and results with colleagues later in the year in an innovation and collaboration showcase.

CTEL aspires to foster useful and creative use of iPads. Consequently, all types of proposals are welcomed, as we intend to work collegially with each proposer to achieve project goals. Each proposal should provide an impact narrative that describes how iPads will be used along with a timeline for implementation and completion. In addition, proposals should align with one of the three areas listed below. Please provide additional information and answer the questions specific to the area with which your project aligns.

Pedagogical innovation

Proposals that explore the use of iPads in and beyond the classroom in order to enhance student learning outcomes through instruction or experiential learning. Please address the following:

  • Provide the name and number of the class (or classes) for the proposed use. What is the expected enrollment? How frequently is the class offered? Will access to an AppleTV be required?
  • How frequently do you anticipate student engagement with the iPad as a consequence of this proposal?
  • Please describe the learning objectives for the course (or courses), and how it is anticipated that the iPad can advance these goals.
  • Please describe an assessment plan.
  • Please list any support or assistance that you anticipate needing in order to realize your goals.

Campus engagement

Proposals that connect students to experiences and resources that can potentially advance student retention, belonging and success or improve university processes in support of the student, faculty, and staff experience.

  • How many iPads (and to whom) would need to be distributed in Spring 2024 in order to validate the usefulness of the proposal? Alternatively, please describe the intended audience for this initiative if it is to be launched in Fall 2024.
  • Please define the engagement goals and provide a strategy for assessing engagement outcomes.
  • Please list any support or assistance that you anticipate needing in order to realize your goals.

Community and Scholarly Partnerships

Proposals that incorporate connected technology in order to advance collaborative scholarship or community-oriented initiatives.

  • Who is the collaborative partner? How many iPad units are required to explore the partnership in Spring 2024?
  • What are the goals of the collaboration and how iPads be used to advance these goals?
  • How will the effectiveness of the iPad collaboration be measured?
  • How will this project contribute to advancing Bradley’s mission?
  • Please list any support or assistance you anticipate needing.

For detailed information about the initiative, please visit Digitally Connected Campus

If you would find it helpful to discuss your proposal idea or have substantive questions about the goals of the Digitally Connected Campus initiative, Discovery Cohorts, and developing academic and operational use cases, please contact Mike Stubbs and Barb Kerns.

For questions related to the Challenge Grant process, please contact Tim Koeltzow. Please submit completed proposals to

Eligibility: This opportunity is not limited to faculty members. Any full-time Bradley employee can apply.

Submission Deadline: Monday, November 27, 2023