Center for Access & Attainment > College Access > Programs > 2021 RFP

2021 College Connect: Request For Proposals

College Connect 2018 Highlights
College Connect is a FREE, five-week academic enrichment, cultural exploration, and career awareness program that provides Chicago high school students with college exposure through 5 week long, condensed college-level courses, college readiness workshops, seminars, and field trips. Hosted on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus, College Connect provides dedicated instructors, small class sizes, and creative hands-on projects to guide students to rise to college-level expectations. See the program website at for more information.
COVID-19 Pandemic Impact:
Due to pandemic restrictions and campus closures, we moved College Connect programming online for summer 2020. All of our academic sessions and college prep workshops were held on Zoom and we used D2L for our high school students just like it’s used for DePaul classes. Because the pandemic has not yet ended, we will most likely host the program online again for summer 2021. Please keep this in mind when considering this opportunity.

We are looking for experienced, committed instructors (adjunct faculty are our target recruitment group) to teach an engaging course in their field of expertise to high ability high school students. College Connect is a 5-week program, the idea is to provide 10 weeks of materials within 5 weeks of classes. Summer 2021 dates are June 28 through July 30. When we were in-person, classes were held Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, from 9 am-12 pm (9 hours of class time a week). If we are fully remote again, we require that all instructors schedule synchronous class time on Zoom at least 3 times a week for at least 1 hour each. The goal is to engage students, introduce them to DePaul, and create an active community of learners. High school students, especially during a pandemic, require more attention and engagement than older students.

Academic coursework taught in the program should closely mirror the level of a typical DePaul freshman class. Content should be challenging, tailored for high school juniors and seniors, as well as fun, interactive, and connected to the city of Chicago. Each course needs to adhere to DePaul’s academic standards, so we can assign college credit for the coursework. Please review our program web page for more details and to see examples of courses we’ve offered in the past:

College Connect instructors will receive a $5,000 stipend for teaching a class for 5 weeks. Stipend will be paid over 2 payroll cycles, $2,500 each.

We want to tailor our courses to reflect a sampling of college majors that lead to rewarding careers in a variety of industries. STEM is our focus, but we want a diverse course portfolio overall and will review all submitted proposals. We are looking for instructors with expertise in the following fields:

•    Information technology: coding / cybersecurity / app and web development
•    Mathematics: business / finance / data science / statistics / actuarial science
•    Science and health: biology / pre-nursing / pre-med / bioethics
•    Hospitality: customer service / entrepreneurship / management / leadership
•    Fine and digital arts: painting / drawing / graphic design / digital cinema / animation
•    Social sciences: sociology / anthropology / political science / pre-law / psychology
•    Communication: public speaking / marketing / advertising / media studies


2021 Proposal Guidelines

Courses should be college freshmen-level with an emphasis on experiential learning through class discussions, relevant field trips, and hands-on projects. If you’d like, you can use your past DePaul syllabus as a starting point for College Connect. Courses should incorporate career-exploration and provide options for college majors that the course would address and that lead to careers in a variety of industries. Course proposals must be submitted online.

All proposals MUST include:
•    A title for your class – please make it interesting and fun
•    A short general summary/description of the course
•    3 learning objectives
•    Course themes to be covered each week and ideas for assignments for each theme. You have 2 weeks of 10-week course content to cover each week of College Connect.
•    Examples of potential class assignments and projects (at least one graded assignment per week)
•    Ways the course subject matter will connect with the city of Chicago.
•    Think through writing assignments for your class – we would like a writing component for every course -  we work with the DePaul Writing Center on developing the students’ written communication skills. It can be a reaction paper to a movie, a blog post, a report on a website, summary of an article, etc.
•    Ideas for final projects – those are showcased to parents during our graduation ceremony. This may be a PowerPoint presentation, short video, a website, an app, short movie, research paper, etc.
•    Proposed book and materials requirements (each course has to fit within a budget of $500). Be creative in your choices and keep cost in mind.  
•    Your grading policy. All students’ work needs to be graded, just like a regular DePaul class.

Each instructor will be assigned two T.A.s, DePaul students who work for our office and serve as classroom assistants and mentors to students during College Connect. Peer Guides will attend class every day and should be incorporated into the classroom experience. They can help with grading of assignments, helping with hands-on projects, lead icebreakers and class activities, etc.

We work with tutors from DePaul’s University Center for Writing-based Learning (UCWbL), who will be assigned to each course to support students’ learning and writing development outside of class.

Guest speakers are always welcome in College Connect, but we have a limited budget. Guest speaker bios and the topic they will address will be required prior to the date of their visit and all speaker requests need to be approved in advance.

Please consider 1-2 ideas for relevant field trips (virtual, if we are still remote) in your course plan – once your proposed class gets selected for the 2021 program, you will be required to provide 1-2 concrete ideas for experiences outside of the classroom.

Please include any special technology and supply needs along with estimated costs in proposal if applicable. All classes will be held online, unless we are allowed back on campus.

•    Have demonstrated working experience teaching college freshmen.
•    Be on time and prepared to teach each class Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Online courses will still require face-to-face Zoom sessions. Absences must be cleared with the College Connect Program Director in advance. Weekly office hours in addition to class time are required.
•    Have a written daily agenda for each class, so expectations are clear.
•    Provide a safe, inclusive, respectful classroom community.
•    If/when any conflicts/bullying behaviors arise during the program, instructor is expected to address it in an appropriate manner with the class T.A.s and inform the College Connect Program Director. Per Illinois Mandated Reporter guidelines, all supervisory adults must report any signs of abuse/harassment.
•    Maintain open and timely communication with students, T.A.s, and College Connect Program Director.
•    Submit a finalized class syllabus and materials/books/speakers list to the College Connect Director by May 31, 2021. After that date, any additional class expenses will be the responsibility of the instructor.
•    Attend the Faculty Orientation in June 2021 (on Zoom).
•    Meet with class T.A.s in June 2021 regarding course strategies and expectations (on Zoom).
•    Attend the College Connect graduation event on Friday, July 30. More details will be provided.

This RFP asks for a lot of information. It's best to prepare all required elements ahead of time because the submission form will not let you save in the middle.
Deadline for course proposals is January 10, 2021. Email the College Connect Program Director, Kate Agarwal, at with any questions prior to submitting your proposal.

Please direct all questions to:
Kate Agarwal
Assistant Director, College Access
College Connect Program Director