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Monday, May 2, 2011 - 10:00am

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y., MAY 2, 2011 –Mercy College today announced that it has been awarded part of a $750,000 grant from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) as a member of the Kaleidoscope Project. Designed and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates and William & Flora Hewlett Foundations, NGLC is focused on identifying and scaling technology-enabled approaches to dramatically improve college readiness and completion, especially for low-income young adults, in the United States. 

The Kaleidoscope Project will implement a fully open general education curriculum across eight colleges that serve predominantly at-risk students. M.L. Bettino, dean of academic affairs for Cerritos College explains the benefits of the project: “The Kaleidoscope Project’s use of open educational resources will virtually eliminate textbook costs as an obstacle to success for low-income students. It will also allow institutions to collaborate to refine and improve course content, closing the loop between course design and student learning outcomes.”

 “Our core mission is to support the academic achievement of our students, many of whom are low-income or first-generation college students,” explains Dr. Braddlee, Dean of Libraries, Academic Technology and Online Learning for Mercy College. “Our participation in the Kaleidoscope Project allows us to bring to this critical charge the resources of the Gates and Hewlett Foundations, MIT, Carnegie Mellon University and our innovative Kaleidoscope college partners. We look forward to creating improved success for our students through of this important work.”

In addition to Mercy College, the Kaleidoscope Project includes lead partner, Cerritos College, and Chadron State College, College of the Redwoods, Palo Verde College, Rancho Santiago Community College Districtand Tompkins Cortland Community College. The eight colleges collectively serve more than 100,000 students annually; with a sizeable percentage of these students among the groups most at risk of not persisting to graduation.

A team of respected, global open education experts will support the college partners including Norman Bier from Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative, Chris Coppola from rSmart, Cable Green from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Vijay Kumar of MIT, Kim Thanos of Thanos Partners and David Wiley from Brigham Young University.

The project will also benefit from use of the Sakai collaboration platform for course delivery, and the use of both Sakai analytics and the Association of American Colleges and Universities VALUE rubrics to assess student learning.

About Next Generation Learning Challenges
NGLC focuses on identifying and scaling technology-enabled approaches to dramatically improve college readiness and completion by addressing a continuum of interrelated issues spanning secondary and postsecondary education from grades 6 through college. NGLC is led by EDUCAUSE in partnership with The League for Innovation in the Community College, the International Association of K-12 Online Learning, and the Council of Chief State School Officers. In addition to funding, NGLC is gathering evidence about effective practices, and working to develop a community dedicated to these persistent challenges. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation helped design the Next Generation Learning Challenges, and fund the initiative.

About Mercy College
Founded in 1950, Mercy College is a private, not-for-profit higher education institution that offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five prestigious schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Mercy College offers an engaging and personalized learning experience that includes the College’s revolutionary Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) program. The Mercy College PACT is the first program of its kind and now serves as a nationally recognized model for mentoring. 877-MERCY-GO.