News Release from AASCU


Contact: Susan Chilcott (202) 478-4661


Washington, D.C. – The American Association and State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the University of Central Florida (UCF) have received a $250,000 grant from the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) competition. The grant will fund the AASCU/UCF proposal, “Expanding Blended Learning Through Tools and Campus Programs”—an initiative designed to expand adoption of blended learning to 20 participating AASCU member institutions through the development of a “Blended Learning Toolkit.”   


Based on proven best practices that have been successfully implemented by the University of Central Florida, the toolkit will include strategies for blended course design and delivery; open educational resource blended course models in composition and algebra; assessment and data collection protocols; and “train the trainer” materials and workshops.  In addition to distributing the toolkit and course materials to its members, AASCU will use its networks and conferences to work with the 20 collaborating institutions on blended learning implementation. 


“We are pleased to join with the University of Central Florida, an AASCU member, in the leadership of this pioneering project on course re-design,” said George Mehaffy, AASCU’s vice president for academic leadership and change.   “We are particularly excited about the participation of 20 of our AASCU campuses in this initiative.  Ten of the campuses will be individual participants, while an additional 10 have created multi-institutional partnerships in three states.”  


Mehaffy noted that this course re-design project grows out of AASCU’s Red Balloon Project, which is an effort to re-imagine undergraduate education.  “At a time of enormous challenge in higher education, this project is one more way that AASCU institutions are working to ensure that more Americans have both access and success in higher education,” said Mehaffy.    


Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the NGLC seeks to improve college completion by supporting the sustainable adoption-at-scale of successful technology-enabled products, projects or service-based solutions in various challenge areas related to improving student learning, engagement and success. Of the 600 proposals submitted during the initial call, 50 were invited to submit full proposals and 29 were selected for funding. The project will officially launch on April 8, 2011, and will be completed in a one-year period.   


All NGLC grants are managed by EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association dedicated to advancing higher education through the promotion of the intelligent use of information technology. For more information about the Next Generation Learning partnership, visit 


List of Collaborating Institutions: 

Columbus State University (Ga.); Fayetteville State University (N.C.); Grambling State University (La.); Harris-Stowe State University (Mo.); Indiana University Kokomo; Lincoln University of Missouri; Missouri Southern State University; Missouri State University; Northwestern State University of Louisiana; St. Cloud State University (Minn.); Southeast Missouri State University; Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; The College at Brockport, State University of New York; Thomas Edison State College (N.J.); Troy University (Ala.); University of Maine at Fort Kent; University of Missouri-St. Louis; University of North Alabama; University of South Alabama; and Winona State University (Minn.).  


AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of nearly 420 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.