Helps serve low-income students
BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2015 ) — The Department of Education approved a grant of nearly $400,000 to allow Union College to continue with programming geared toward online course development.
The Title III grant has been fully funded for the fifth year, said Tara Cooper, associate academic dean at Union. “This will allow us to finish the work we have been doing with online and hybrid teaching as well as faculty development in the use of technology for teaching and learning.”
The official grant award totals $399,913. Union initially requested the funding in 2011 through the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions program, otherwise known as Title III. The program assists institutions of higher education that serve low-income students by “providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability” of the eligible institutions.
Union’s project, entitled “Expanding Higher Education Opportunity,” focused on online course development in stages throughout five years of funding. The project sought to convert a total of 41 courses for online and hybrid delivery. Part of the project includes training faculty members to optimize technology use in their classrooms and delivery of the curriculum. Funding also contributed to the development of student service programs such as online orientation, tutoring, financial aid, advising and degree audits.
“These initiatives will be built upon a robust technological infrastructure, increasing Union’s capacity to independently support online programming and web-based enrollment services,” the grant application states.
With the recent grant award, Union has received $1.9 million for the project over the last five years. The program at Union is administered by Cooper through the Teaching and Learning Center at Norton Hall.