July 22, 2009


Northeast Receives Major Federal Title III Grant

The U S Department of Education (DoED) has notified personnel at Northeast Alabama Community College that the college has been awarded a grant of $1,176,664 as a part of the federal government’s Title III Strengthening Institutions Program. The funds, allotted over a five-year period, will permit the college to establish a Center for Students and Faculty Technology. It will allow NACC to purchase additional technology equipment and software and provide training for students, faculty, and staff in technology applications.

“We are excited about this grant,” NACC President Dr. David Campbell stated. “Over the past several years, we have made a concerted effort to bring more educational technology to our campus, and this grant will permit us to make even greater strides in utilizing technology for student learning. There is great competition for these grants, and I commend our staff that put together this proposal. This is actually one of the largest federal grants that the college has ever received and it will certainly be very well utilized.”

The funding is the result of a grant proposal submitted by the college more than a year ago. The project is titled “Enhancing Student Engagement in Learning and Student/Faculty Interaction with Technology.” It will create learning communities of faculty, students, and staff in which the goal is to create a welcoming environment where information about the use of technology for learning may be easily exchanged among participants.

“This funding will enable us to look more closely at the effective use of instructional design strategies, web-based resources, multimedia technologies, and instructional software and systems to improve teaching and learning, with both the online and face-to-face modalities,” stated Dr. Joe Burke, Vice President/Dean of Instruction and Title III Coordinator. “As we broaden the applications of educational technologies we plan to work closely with faculty in some course redesign to include course content delivery, assessment, and online interactive activities.”

NACC has expanded its educational technology in recent years. The college has more than 600 personal computers on campus for faculty, staff, and student use. There are eighteen computer laboratories at Northeast, with access available for almost all specific programs and subject areas. The college has added Smart Teaching Boards to classrooms, complete with Internet connections, and instructors and students can use Blackboard and Wimba software systems, the latter of which permits instructors to video tape their lectures for student replay and review. At Northeast, students may obtain e-mail addresses and personalized student accounts, and the college is one of the few in the South that provides an Internet/video club for students. The college’s new Health Education and Technology Center alone contains some ten miles of Internet fiber connections. ”We see the application of technology as being the cutting edge of education in the 21st Century,” Campbell stated, “and we want our students to be prepared the best they possibly can be. This grant is a major step in our achieving this goal.”

The NACC Committee that wrote the Title III grant proposal was Dr. Joe Burke (Chair), Larry Guffey, Marilyn Reece, Dr. Mike Kennamer, Sam Dobbs, Tonie Niblett, Martha Banks, Judith Lea, Dr. Cindy Jones, Susan Hancock, and Dr. Wayne Woods (retired).

For examples of computer technology at Northeast, select
"Online Resources" from the "Students" menu (above).

Northeast Alabama Community College sophomores Erin McGee, Colton Clark, and Dustin Timmons are shown in one of the many computer laboratories on campus.

(Photo taken by Debra A. Barrentine, Director of Promotions and Marketing)