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PSC Professor Chosen to Participate in Global Skills for College Completion Grant through Gates Foundation

Chicago Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Jason Evans, Prairie State College (PSC) associate professor of English, is one of 26 professors chosen from 16 community colleges across the country to participate in The Global Skills for College Completion (GSCC) Grant. The grant is sponsored by the Gates Foundation and is designed to develop break-through innovations in teaching to improve pass rates and basic skills in writing and mathematics. The focus is on developing improved methods for the delivery of developmental education.

PSC was one of 30 community colleges invited to nominate two faculty members for consideration to participate in this groundbreaking study. Brian Garant, assistant professor of mathematics, was also nominated by PSC.

“The fact that we were one of only 30 colleges invited (out of 1,200 across the U.S.) is testimony to PSC’s strong reputation for academic excellence,” said PSC President Dr. Eric C. Radtke.

The GSCC grant promises to advance the role of technology at community colleges beyond online courses. The grant is driven by an online community of outstanding basic skills faculty in 16 states on 13 campuses. The charge is to harness the power of technology to fundamentally change how educators do their job.

Evans has attended the first face-to-face meeting of the 26 faculty participants. “We are developing an e-Portfolio to showcase what has worked – and what hasn’t – in our classrooms, using evidence of how and why students have learned particular skills,” Evans said. In addition, Evans is working with a small group online to examine and learn from one another’s teaching. As part of the process, Evans will be videotaped three times a semester and create online presentations for the other participants. The overall goal is to discover what works and what doesn’t for basic skills students in order to raise the pass rates in developmental English and math to 80 percent. Evans’ participation in the grant amounts to a total payment of $48,800.00 to PSC.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the project and to share what I learn with my colleagues at Prairie State,” Evans said.

GSCC is a collaborative effort that includes the League for Innovation in Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Knowledge in the Public Interest, and the Community College Research Center. The GSCC grant is from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is part of a larger award of $12.9 million in technology-related grants that promise to fundamentally change how community college students are educated and, ultimately, improve their graduation rates.

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