CREATING SUSTAINABILITY

The Associated Colleges of the South is determined to address the financial sustainability of our member institutions. Whether the current financial system is considered “broken” or “vulnerable,” the ACS presidents recognize that their institutions are not on a sustainable long-term path. Tuition can be raised only so much – it is already at levels that can discourage middle-income and other families. Given the current acute financial problems facing the country, it does not make sense to place bets on significant increases in the performance of endowments. The nation’s financial challenge also affects foundations and other donors by limiting the extent to which they can “bail-out” institutions from the current financial situation. And, government support, including financial aid to students, is not likely to come to the rescue, given the pressure and need to reduce government funding of higher education and the national debt.
This grant-funded program pursues a three-year plan that provideed training programs for faculty – with instructional technologists included – for specific projects that served as demonstration models and proof of the consortium’s concept, and identification of the technology alternatives that are rapidly becoming available for online instruction.
The  funds were distributed in relative small awards to stimulate faculty to create new online programs, with the money acting as an­ incentive to persuade them to find the time and marshal the resources necessary to offer online courses and parts of courses. Disciplinary and interdisciplinary webinar training sessions were also foreseen, to orient faculty to the process and provide more advanced training for those who already have some degree of sophistication in the area of online instruction.
The budget projected funding twenty projects per year at an average of $3000 each. Actual funding tended to be higher, with fewer projects funded per year.

 

2013 Grants

  1. Resources for the ACS Sustainability Blended Learning Library: Climate Change and Energy (Part 1 of 5)—Mary Finley-Brook (Richmond)
  2. Resources for the ACS Digital Library: Food and Environmental Studies (Part 3 of 5)—Brett Werner (Centre)
  3. Developing Shared Expertise for Blended Learning Instruction Through Institutional Collaboration—Sean Connin (Trinity)
  4. Resources for the ACS Sustainability Blended Learning Library: Biodiversity/Ecosystem Services (Part 4 of 5)—David Ribble (Trinity)
  5. Resources for the ACS Sustainability Blended Learning Library: Environmental and Social Justice (Part 2 of 5)—Carmel Price (Furman)
  6. Resources for the Sustainability Blended Learning Digital Library: Political Ecology (Part 5 of 5)—Barry Allen (Rollins)

2014 Grants

  1. Associated Chemistry of the South: Blended Learning in Chemistry at ACS Schools—Michael Geminski, Emily Neimeyer, Leonard Demoranville, Jennifer Muzyka (Southwestern and Centre)
  2. Assessing the efficacy of blended learning as a means of improving critical thinking in STEM education—Katherine Hayden, Melanie Styers, Pete Van Zandt (BSC)
  3. Chinese Character Training Mobile App for Elementary Chinese Class—Li Wei, Hongchu Fu (Rollins and W&L)
  4. ACS Workshop: Improving Inorganic Chemistry Pedagogy—Laurel Habgood, Karin Young (Rollins and Centre)

Webinars Produced for this Program: