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Colleges Receive Grants to Bolster Technology Use



By Catherine Groux
Posted October 19, 2012 11:00 AM

Select colleges recently received grants to improve technology use.
Select colleges recently received grants to improve technology use.
Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) recently announced in a press release that it will donate $5.4 million in grants to support blended learning at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Ultimately, by bolstering the use of technology in high school and university classrooms, NGLC hopes to improve college readiness and completion.

Six of the grant recipients plan to use the funds to enhance college access, persistence, completion and affordability by introducing new online and blended learning programs. The University of Washington, for example, was given $884,000 to deliver massive open online courses (MOOCs) that will help students who have some college credits return to school and earn a bachelor's degree. With the online format of the classes, students will be able to indulge in flexible and more affordable programs.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia will also benefit from the grants. Using $1 million in funding, the system plans to work with Columbus State University to create an accelerated, online Bachelor of Arts degree. This undergraduate program will strive to help students graduate by offering dual credit in high school and a prior learning assessment. Additionally, the program will allow students to transfer core course credits from 60 state institutions.

Andrew Calkins, deputy director of NGLC, said the colleges and organizations that were chosen have proven they are dedicated to using technology to make higher education more convenient and affordable for students.

"They are designing schools and college-level learning pathways that encourage access, persistence and completion in learning environments that marry technology and [pay] close attention to students’ individual needs," Calkins said in a statement. "They are striving to accelerate and deepen learning for today’s students, who have high expectations for engagement and personalization."

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