Athens State University has been selected to receive a $2,808,082 grant under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund from the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the grant is to provide funding to institutions of higher education thus enabling them to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic more resilient and expand educational opportunities for students.
In order to better serve students, these grant opportunities provide the flexibility low income students require not only during the pandemic but also in their normal lives. The University will expand the number of Active Flex courses and sections offered, the number of students taught in Active Flex, upgraded classrooms, and provide professional development for faculty. This innovative approach has multiple phases to benefit students:
- Athens State will provide Pell Grant receiving students with an award that will allow them to purchase a laptop from the campus bookstore. By providing technology and accessibility, these students will have flexibility to learn regardless of their location or possible time constraints. They will no longer be reliant on their employers, on-campus computer labs, library computers, or their phone for completion of their upper level course work.
- Athens State will invest in six Active Flex classrooms. In Fall 2020, Athens State converted one classroom to this format and began a pilot study with five faculty members each teaching one section. The pilot allowed the students to choose the delivery method of their instruction on a weekly basis to match their needs (traditional, synchronous online, asynchronous online). These classrooms will allow greater student interaction, engagement, and access to instruction.
- Athens State will invest in faculty training and support. The goal is to train faculty in active learning concepts, implementation of those concepts in Active Flex instruction, and provide the technology needed to facilitate student and faculty interaction.
“Athens State University continues to be an innovator in flexible learning opportunities for students,” said Dr. Philip Way, Athens State University President. “This award is recognition of our continued excellence in leading edge education. Our faculty are excited to provide more ways that our working students can make sure their education is available where and when they need it. This grant offers another opportunity for Athens State to lead the way in meeting students’ educational needs in a groundbreaking way.”