College awarded $1.8 million technology grant

Monday, September 17, 2001

Lacey, Wash. - Saint Martin's College has been selected, in a highly competitive process, to receive a U.S. Department of Education Title III, Strengthening Institutions grant. The $1.8 million award will be distributed over the course of five years and in relatively equal increments of approximately $360,000 per year.

The grant proposal was submitted to the United States Department of Education in February and was the result of the work of a number of faculty and staff members over the course of the last three years. The grant is intended to improve the quality of education and services for students. This federal funding, which becomes available in October, will allow Saint Martin's College to develop activities in two areas.

Activity One Acquire an integrated and updated information technology system. The grant provides a means for replacing outmoded hardware and software with a new, up-to-date system, allowing for all of the college's offices and departments to be linked. Implementation of a new integrated technology system will involve not only the acquisition of new hardware and software but also considerable faculty and staff training and development. Full implementation of a new computer system will likely take 12 to 18 months from the time of vendor selection.

"In terms of practical applications, we expect the new system will allow faculty members to access student records for advising, develop web-based instructional materials and facilitate the registration process for students by allowing on-line registration," said Jacqueline Johnson, vice president for academic affairs. "It should also allow easy access to degree audit materials and information and monitor data related to student performance that will improve student success and retention."

Activity II Centralize and improve student support services by developing an Academic Resource Center and providing opportunities for faculty development in advising, technology-based instruction and teaching for diverse learning styles. The primary goal of this second activity is to improve academic and student services and to enhance the ability of faculty to teach in a diverse and technologically sophisticated learning environment.

Directors Doug Ford, associate professor of computer science, has been appointed as the overall grant administrator. Ford will work with Michael Extine, director of the office on integrated technology services, and Deborah DeBow, director of Access Services, as well as activity advisory groups to ensure that grant implementation is well-coordinated, in compliance with federal regulations and effective. Extine has been appointed as the director of activity one and DeBow has been appointed as director of activity two.

"This is an exciting time for Saint Martin's College," said David Spangler, college president. "We are at an especially opportune moment to use these resources in a way that increases our ability to serve our community and fulfill our mission."

For more information:
Christina Ramírez-Milhoan, communications specialist
Saint Martin's College Office of Communication
360-438-4541 or cramirez@stmartin.edu