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Terra Community College receives $1.4 million federal grant

Fremont, July 31, 2008: Terra Community College officials received word recently that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $1.4 million grant to the college for the expansion of distance learning opportunities.

The crux of the 50-page grant proposal is that Terra seeks to expand student access to learning experiences through development of a comprehensive, distance-learning program. The grant allows the college to increase the number of courses, instructors, and students at a much faster pace than it could do on its own.

“We are positively invigorated by receiving this grant,” said Dr. Sue Babione, Director of the College Foundation who served as the coordinator of the grant proposal. “Our committee of 21 worked for several months on this proposal collecting data, developing objectives and implementation strategies and establishing project management and evaluation criteria.  We could not be happier with receiving this award. It is a major benefit for our students.”

Terra will receive $238,315 this year and anticipates five total years of funding estimated at $1,416,559.

“This grant will allow us to systematically build our distance learning program into an integral part of the college,” said Dr. Marsha S. Bordner, Terra President. “And that in turn means greater access. Our job is to make higher education available to all people on their schedule.”

The grant project has very specific goals which college officials plan to meet by September, 2013. Terra will improve its current modest distance learning program by:
• Increasing the number of distance learning course sessions offered by Terra from 38 to 67.
• Increasing the number of students enrolled in distance learning courses from 527 to 884.
And, increasing the number of full-time and part-time faculty who are teaching distance learning courses from 25 to 52. They will use the Angel course management system that has already been purchased by the college.

Terra will use the additional funding to hire staff to support both students and faculty, purchase equipment and provide training. There will be increased opportunities in three different distance learning delivery systems: fully online courses, hybrid (part online, part on-campus) and coursecasting (use of audio/video playback devices).

“What really drives this project is the need to provide as much flexibility as possible for students to achieve their educational goals,” said Dr. Nancy Sattler, Dean of the Arts and Sciences and Business Division.

The grant Terra received comes from the Strengthening Institutions Program of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III program. Funds may be used to improve and strengthen academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability.

“As a federal grant program, Title III is very competitive so we are extremely proud to be chosen to receive this funding,” Bordner said. “It not only speaks volumes for our personnel, but also of the quality of education our students receive.”

Amanda Oka, a student from Burgoon, is one of those students who will benefit. In her second term at Terra, she is taking two distance learning classes this summer.

For more information on the distance learning program at Terra, call 419-559-2411 or visit http://www.terra.edu/academics/distance/dlhome.asp





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