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Albizu University gets $953K grant for innovation in digital learning

The Albizu University has just been selected to receive a $952,851 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), which it will use to fund the Albizu Pilot Project for the Modernization of Digital Learning Infrastructure and Information Technology.

Albizu University was one among four institutions selected nationwide for this grant.

“This grant allows us to launch the Albizu Pilot Project, which is a model of how innovation leads to student success through activities that incorporate the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Nelson Soto, president of the Albizu University.

FIPSE grants fund projects that propose solutions that have the potential for national influence, involved the implementation of new ideas and approaches that are action-oriented and learner-centered, and that encourage grantees to take risks to support new and unproven ideas as well as improvements to proven ideas.

Through this transformational grant, Albizu’s new Digital Learning Unit, will implement activities that will create critical network and connectivity redundancies and electric power backup capabilities. Alice Casanova will lead the Learning Unit.

Also, this project will implement innovative interventions that will provide culturally sensitive faculty training through Instructional Design Bootcamps and one-on-one guidance by Instructional Design Coaches.

“Through this grant, undergraduate and graduate students from Albizu enrolled at the San Juan Campus and the Mayagüez University Center will receive culturally sensitive student support through Virtual Navigators who will provide in-person and online academic and support services to students to address barriers to learning throughout the student academic journey,” said Soto.

The project will create the Center for Digital Learning Innovation with a Next Generation Digital Learning Environments Lab and will establish the Puerto Rico Digital Learning Online Consortium.

“This project will position Albizu and Puerto Rico as a leader in digital learning innovation and will serve as a model of best practices for faculty development on the teaching and learning process in online modalities,” said Berta Ríos, Chief Academic Officer at Albizu and who led the conceptualization of the pilot.


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