BPCC is one of 17 in country to receive grant funds to help institutions test and develop innovative strategies to improve student outcomes
Officials at Bossier Parish Community College have been notified that the College will receive a $1.8M grant from the Department of Education as part of its First in the World grant program. BPCC is one of only five community colleges in the nation and the only college in Louisiana to receive the award.
The FITW program is “designed to support the development, replication, and dissemination of innovative solutions and evidence for what works in addressing persistent and widespread challenges in postsecondary education for students who are at risk for not persisting in and completing postsecondary programs, including, but not limited to, adult learners, working students, part-time students, students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities, and first-generation students.” More than $60M was awarded to 17 colleges and universities through this program.
“Winning this competitive grant is an endorsement of our strategy to focus on innovation, data integration, and student success, “says BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr.
BPCC’s grant proposal is to create open source online developmental-level courses that would be available to students through smart phone apps and would be capable of serving up to 10,000 students each.
Previously BPCC’s open source pilot in desktop and laptop formats, called Open Campus™, demonstrated measurable increases in the number of developmental students who persisted in and completed developmental courses at the College.
Allison Martin, BPCC’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness, says the conversion to a smart phone mobile app will augment those online developmental education modules.
“The app will be embedded in and will support successful completion of developmental math and English courses leading to one-year certificate and two-year Associate Degrees,” says Martin. “By end of the grant performance period, it is expected that the mobile apps will be scaled to a broader campus-wide design to benefit all high-need students and could also be useful as a professional development tool for faculty.”
Bateman adds, “This grant will allow BPCC to build upon the innovation of Open Campus™ by making coursework available through a mobile platform. We have seen that Open Campus™ has provided more than one million minutes of free, self-paced, online instruction in 150 countries and this will expand significantly via the mobile environment.”
Additionally, the College proposes to build an integrated data platform (IDP), incorporating multiple streams of student data, including Open Campus™ data, into a predictive flow model to reveal empirical evidence of patterns of student persistence and learning. The employment of data integration analytics tools will help track student progress both synchronically and diachronically allowing administrators, institutional researchers, and strategic planning departments the ability to shape policy and practices through what they see in persistence and success rates, graduation trends, rates of momentum and tipping points at which academic success occurs. In the end, a degree map application will be used to give advisors and students a clearer vision of their degree plan, facilitate goal-setting conversations, and consider potential career paths.
For more information on U.S. Department of Education’s $60M grants, visit www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/department-awards-60-million-first-world-grants-17-colleges-universities-and-organizations .