White House makes grants to boost online learning

Obama promised $2 billion in grant money to community colleges last year.

White House officials announced the first installation of a $2 billion grant program that could help community colleges better – and more quickly – ready students for openings in the slumping job market through industry partnerships and an expansion of free online courses that would let students move through curriculum at their own pace.

During a conference call Sept. 26, Obama administration officials said the first $500 million in the workforce training program would be distributed to community colleges and college consortia nationwide after a rigorous application process that lasted almost a year.

President Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden, a longtime community college professor, joined hundreds of educators last October at the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges, where Obama made it clear that community colleges would serve a key role in his administration’s economic recovery plan.…Read More

Model online school gets big gift from Gates Foundation

WGU Indiana students graduate in an average of two and a half years.

An expanding online university that allows students to move through coursework based on competency, not just class credits, received a $4.5 million grant that will be used to bolster its web-based programs in Indiana, Washington state, and Texas.

Western Governors University (WGU), a Utah-based nonprofit online school formed in 1999 with about 20,000 students nationwide, announced Aug. 29 that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had awarded the grant in support of the university’s newest statewide programs.

Read more about the Gates Foundation in higher education……Read More