Posted: February 18, 1997

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Twenty-two grants totaling $4,225,000 for innovative technology projects have been awarded to MnSCU institutions as part of the system's Electronic Academy initiative.

The competitive grants were awarded for proposals that are student centered and directly affect classroom instruction, advising and other services that enhance student success. The awards ranged from $23,285 to $285,100.

"Our students can benefit enormously from electronic education," Chancellor Judith Eaton said. "These grants will help our colleges and universities to develop that exciting potential."

The Electronic Academy Council recommended the grants after reviewing 98 proposals. The council is composed of faculty members, students, college and university presidents, the MnSCU vice chancellor for academic and student affairs and a representative of the Minnesota High Technology Council. Council members did not review proposals from their own institutions.

The 1996 Minnesota Legislature appropriated money to MnSCU for the instructional technology grants. The awards were made in August and December 1996. An additional $34 million for the Electronic Academy is being sought as part of MnSCU's budget request for the 1998-99 biennium.

The Electronic Academy is a master plan to transform MnSCU's 36 colleges and universities into centers of electronically accessible instruction, community development and culture from around the world. The initiative strives to balance high technology with personalized instruction that will revolutionize the way Minnesotans learn and teach.

A list of the 1996 MnSCU Electronic Academy grants follows:

Alexandria Technical College
The Digitized College $242,218

To advance the use of technology in all areas of learning; to train faculty; to develop electronic course modules; to enrich student experiences by creating opportunities for practical applications of technology; to make information electronically available to students through "student-net"; and to provide funding for innovative pilot projects.

Anoka-Hennepin Technical College (Anoka)
Internet Golf Course Management Program $ 70,435

To meet the increasing need for turf, irrigation and golf course management professionals through use of an Internet-based program of instruction. This project responds to a significant need for on-line services and is expected to be used nationally.

Bemidji State University
Multi-media Leadership Center $250,000

To create a multi-media center to train faculty; to expand dramatically the numbers of courses and degrees offered through distance education; to expand the number of virtual internships, to create an Electronic Learner Handbook for students; to develop a virtual advising system and to become a regional hub for electronic curriculum development

Century College (White Bear Lake)
Electronic Delivery of Nursing $166,000

To convert the nursing program to an interactive and student-directed system using the application of audio visual instructional software and distance learning. (This project is implemented in collaboration with Inver Hills Community College.)

Fergus Falls Community College
Blended Technologies Approach to Student Learning $285,100

To improve teaching and learning by "blending" technologies including ITV, CD-ROM, Internet, electronic office hours and conferencing; to increase learning by providing access to laptop computers for distance learners; to develop an electronic advising/consulting framework; and to provide training for students, faculty and staff. (This project is a joint project with Central Lakes College and Northwest Technical College.)

Electronic Access for Students with Disabilities $ 60,200

To provide physically challenged students with access to technology by maintaining a wireless (cellular) local area network on the FFCC campus.

Hibbing Community College, A Technical and Community College
Increasing Student Access through Electronic Delivery $158,717

To provide innovative on-site (CD-ROM, Internet, voice activated phone lab) and distance delivery of two programs, Heavy Truck and Machinery Maintenance and Nutrition. (This project is in collaboration with Bemidji State University, Itasca Community College, Lake Superior College, Rainy River Community College and Riverland Community College.)

Inver Hills Community College (Inver Grove Heights)
Advanced Technology Training for Faculty $195,881

To have a positive impact on the educational process for 5,000 students by providing instructional technology training for 175 faculty members.

Electronic Emergency Medical Services Education and Research Center $219,690

To create an EMS Education and Research Center on the World Wide Web; to improve student success by connecting MnSCU paramedic programs and key field internship sites; and to create and use an electronic classroom to conduct joint class sessions. (This is a collaborative project with Century College, Northwest Technical College and South Central College.)

Itasca Community College (Grand Rapids)
Remote Access Library $247,800

To manufacture tutorial, testing and lab CDS for remote site access by engineering students; to use ITV for career counseling, labs and recruiting in more than 25 school districts; to extend the existing Itasca/Hibbing collaboration to Mankato State University students in electrical engineering; and to implement "dial-up" access to multi-media computers allowing for CDS to support mainstream engineering education with unprecedented accessibility. (This project is in collaboration with Mankato State University and Hibbing Community College.)

Lake Superior College (Duluth)
Computer Enhanced Science Lab $131,281

To improve student learning in science through alternative and expanded electronic delivery methods and student research opportunities; to involve students in the use of computers to design and conduct experiments with remote probes in Minnesota lakes; to use data logging technologies applicable to careers in environmental testing; to develop histology and chemistry CD-based curricula; to create an interactive microbiology manual; to use the Internet to support distance learners; and to support real time group data collection and analysis.

Mankato State University
On-line Course Development and Faculty Training $242,870

To transform the curricula of 26 undergraduate and graduate courses for on-line delivery; to expand faculty training by creating an electronic curriculum development center; and to become a regional technological education and training resource for surrounding communities.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Interactive Multi-media Information Source for Biology and Chemistry $ 23,285

To improve student learning in biology and chemistry by supplementing text- and lecture-based laboratory preparation with a multi-media laboratory information program; to develop software; and to purchase four laboratory computers.

Normandale Community College (Bloomington)
Electronic Transformation of Career Readiness and Degree Completion Programs $248,267

To deliver courses, designed to improve career readiness and two-year degree completion, through public television (PBS) and supported by the Internet, interactive CD-ROM and multi-media live classrooms. (This project is in collaboration with Anoka-Ramsey Community College and North Hennepin Community College.)

Northwest Technical College (Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, East Grand Fords, Moorhead, Wadena)
Electronic Practical Nursing Program $250,000

To deliver practical nursing instruction across Minnesota and beyond using a variety of electronic learning methods, including the Internet, satellite transmission, computerized work books and video.

Pine Technical College (Pine City) Campus
Transformation through Technology Infusion $192,953

To develop electronic courses in locksmithing technology, security management and gunsmithing; to use ITV to deliver an associate of applied science degree, Child Support Officer; to deliver special education courses to secondary and post-secondary students; and to convert the college's gunsmithing research collection to an electronic format.

Ridgewater College, A Community and Technical College (Hutchinson & Willmar)
Accelerate Creation of a New Technology Infrastructure $247,150

To convert program curriculum materials, including advising, career awareness, student life and placement information to an electronically transportable media format within five years.

Rochester Community and Technical College
Integrated Wide Area Network $204,499

To enhance teaching and learning through the development of advanced hardware technologies and software tools for use by students and faculty; to enhance student services by increasing electronic access points for advising, career counseling, placement and admissions; to enhance student, faculty and staff development by delivering continuous opportunities to learn current and emerging technologies; and to develop five partnerships which increase distance learning opportunities for students. (This project is in collaboration with Winona State University and the University of Minnesota.)

St. Cloud State University
Remote Electrical Engineering Labs $226,848

To develop a laboratory for remotely manipulating electronic instruments over the World Wide Web to allow students to gain vital, hands-on laboratory experience while participating in distance learning; and to provide off-campus students electronic access to equipment as if they were sitting at the actual laboratory bench.

Multi-media Academic Support and Advising $173,122

To develop multi-media and on-line assessment, advising and instructional programming and course material to support technical and community college students prior to and as they prepare for transfer to St. Cloud State University; and to use the same technology to support incoming university freshmen. (This project is in collaboration with Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Vermilion Community College, Central Lakes College and Northland Community and Technical College.)

Vermilion Community College (Ely)
Remote Access for Adult Students $180,684

To create access through the design of web-based instruction enhanced by the use of interactive television and multi-media; to create a virtual advisor whereby students can access personal records, assessment information, college policies, placement data and other information; and to provide professional development for faculty, staff and students.

Winona State University
Electronic Instructional Support $208,000

To enhance student learning by promoting and facilitating the innovative applications of technology; to create an electronic, interactive studio classroom infused with multi-media; to provide student access to multi-media tutorials outside the classroom; and to enhance student understanding of information technology through education on multi-media applications.