James Madison University Selects SunGard Higher Education to Enhance Information Self Service and Connections for its Advancement Team

MALVERN, Pa. – September 24, 2009 –James Madison University has selected SunGard Higher Education’s Advance solution to replace its existing advancement application and create a self-service environment of information access to help foster engagement and enhance relationships with donors.

“Having everyone working together to build relationships will help position us to achieve better success,” said Dale Hulvey, James Madison University’s assistant vice president for Information Technology. “To support this vision, we needed to create an environment where everyone within the university could be involved and extend the sphere of influence outside of the annual fund to help foster engagement and build stronger relationships with our donors. SunGard Higher Education’s Advance was the system that offered the database and reporting capabilities, accessibility via the Web and a user-friendly interface that we were seeking to help us attain this environment.“
 
SunGard Higher Education’s Advance is a Web-based donor, prospect and events management system developed specifically for use by higher education institutions. Advance helps advancement offices manage sophisticated alumni relations programs, fundraising campaigns, and business processes, helping institutions to engage constituents more effectively, operate more efficiently, and provide transparency into key metrics to manage performance.
 
“In addition to seeking a vendor that offered a proven system, we wanted a partner that brought the experience and intellectual capital to help us expand upon our vision with best practices and strategies to accelerate our efforts. SunGard Higher Education brings this value,” said Chris Pipkins, James Madison University associate vice president of Advancement Information Services.
 
Additional benefits JMU anticipates from the implementation of Advance include:
          Improved access to Web-based reports that can be accessed on demand by the advancement staff;
          Enhanced data integrity by eliminating manual entries into multiple systems;
          A wholly integrated and accessible system to support larger leadership fundraising initiatives.
 
“James Madison University’s leaders have an ambitious vision for the institution’s development efforts and we can help them make that a reality,” said Fred Weiss, senior vice president, strategy and product management, advancement at SunGard Higher Education. “We look forward to working together to support them as they realize their vision of a connected environment of enhanced collaboration and strong, meaningful donor relationships.
                                                                                                                                 
 
About James Madison University
James Madison University is a comprehensive university committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.  Established in 1908, the university offers programs on the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.  JMU provides a total education to students – one that has a broad range of the liberal arts as its foundation and encompasses an extensive variety of professional, pre-professional and multi-disciplinary programs augmented by a multitude of hands-on learning experiences.  The university is located in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and is the only university in America named for President James Madison.
 
About SunGard Higher Education
SunGard Higher Education provides software and support, systems implementation and integration, strategic consulting, and technology management services to help colleges and universities build, unify, and manage their digital campuses.  Bringing together people, processes, and technology, SunGard Higher Education assists 1,600 higher education organizations around the world, including colleges, universities, campuses, foundations, state systems, central and district officesto strengthen institutional performance through improved constituent services, increased accountability, and better educational experiences.  www.sungardhe.com.
 
About SunGard
SunGard is one of the world’s leading software and IT services companies.  SunGard serves more than 25,000 customers in more than 70 countries.

SunGard provides software and processing solutions for financial services, higher education and the public sector.   SunGard also provides disaster recovery services, managed IT services, information availability consulting services and business continuity management software.

With annual revenue exceeding $5 billion, SunGard is ranked 435 on the Fortune 500 and is the largest privately held business software and services company on the Forbes list of private businesses. Based on information compiled by Datamonitor*, SunGard is the third largest provider of business applications software after Oracle and SAP. Continuity, Insurance & Risk has recognized SunGard as service provider of the year an unprecedented six times.  For more information, please visit SunGard at www.sungard.com.

*January 2009 Technology Vendors Financial Database Tracker
http://www.datamonitor.com

Trademark Information: SunGard, the SunGard logo and Advance are trademarks or registered trademarks of SunGard Data Systems Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. All other trade names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
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Vanderbilt University’s National Center on Performance Incentives (NCPI) Partners with uBoost

Honolulu, HI (PRWEB) September 23, 2009 — uBoost has announced a partnership with Vanderbilt University’s National Center on Performance Incentives (NCPI). Through the partnership, uBoost will operate its student recognition and rewards program as part of a research effort targeted at determining how incremental recognition and rewards impact student attendance, program completion and performance in federally-funded after-school tutoring programs, namely supplemental education services (SES).

In a 2009 study, Vanderbilt researchers reported that SES had a significant, positive effect on test score gains in both mathematics and reading for those students who attended most of their tutoring sessions.

However, even though the number of students eligible for tutoring has increased dramatically nationwide since the 2002-03 school year, enrollment as a total percentage of eligible students continues to fall well short of expectations. A Government Accountability Office report indicates that less than one in five eligible students actually enrolled in SES during the 2004-05 school year. Moreover, of those students who did enroll, only a small percentage actually attended at least one tutoring session.

Some stakeholders believe that students lack appropriate incentives to attend, an issue that the research study conducted by uBoost and the NCPI will inform.

Under the proposed study, students and their parents will receive rewards for student attendance, and their outcomes will be compared with a control group to measure the incentives impact on attendance, parental involvement, and student performance. The program and its results will be monitored and evaluated by a team of experienced research and policy experts, including specialists in social and behavioral science, statistical analysis, economic theory, and policy analysis.

"This study proposes to evaluate the impact of various financial incentive interventions for student attendance in SES using a randomized controlled trial design. uBoost’s rewards and recognition platform will enable us to not only facilitate timely access to rewards for students, but to do so in a way that is both relevant to the student and very efficient for educators," says Matthew Springer, the director of the National Center on Performance Incentives and a research assistant professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.

"Previous studies have shown that students benefit from SES and uBoost has a history of increasing student attendance, engagement and achievement. We look forward to having a positive impact on students’ education through the pilot programs administered by Vanderbilt." says John Bower, CEO of uBoost.

About NCPI

Established in 2006 through a $10 million, five-year research and development grant from the United States Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, NCPI conducts independent and scientific studies on the individual and institutional effects of performance incentives in education. NCPI, a state and local policy research and development center, is part of the Peabody Center for Education Policy and housed in the Learning Sciences Institute on the campus of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, one of the nation’s top five schools of education.

NCPI joins the National Research and Development Center on School Choice at Peabody College, making Peabody the only institution in the nation to house two national research and development centers funded by the Institute of Education Sciences.

About uBoost

uBoost is an online performance recognition and rewards platform where points are awarded for positive behaviors and redeemed for relevant rewards. uBoost works across all age groups, curricula, and achievement levels and offers educators an innovative way to recognize incremental improvement.

Recognition in the form of points, performance-based honor badges, and a coveted spot on achiever leader-boards encourages students to put forth maximum effort. Students are able to choose from a catalog containing thousands of rewards choices (from $.01 to $200.00) thereby ensuring that there is something that interests and motivates them. Students can redeem their points for merchandise and gift cards; support their favorite charitable cause; customize their own safe, virtual environment; or participate in contests to win premium rewards such as iPods and Amazon.com gift cards. To maintain engagement, uBoost continues to offer new rewards and contests to keep up with students’ changing interests and to ensure relevance throughout the school year.

uBoost partners with publishers, district administrators, online schools, tutoring companies, and private education companies to design and implement student recognition and rewards programs.

For more information, visit www.uBoost.com or call 808.377.4810.

www.facebook.com/uBoost
www.twitter.com/uBoost
www.slideshare.net/uBoost
www.youtube.com/uBoost100

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Crestron to Open Design and Technology Experience Center

ROCKLEIGH, NJ, September 23, 2009Crestron announced today the upcoming opening of its state-of-the-art Experience Center located at its world headquarters in Rockleigh, NJ. The new multi-million dollar interactive environment celebrates the company’s 40 years of innovation and leadership. The fully immersive experience will provide integrators, architects and designers with a space to introduce clients to Crestron, meet with Crestron executives, collaborate with system designers and to demonstrate the latest state-of-the-art technology in elegantly appointed, functioning application environments. The 8,000 square foot suite features an atrium-style reception area, cutting edge multimedia presentation room, sophisticated video conferencing boardroom, Theo Kalomirakis Home Theater and an expansive interactive design lab.

 

The center is a compelling destination location and one of the highlights of a complete tour of the Crestron campus, a small city dedicated to innovation, engineering and client support. In addition to the Experience Center, Crestron will open its doors to business partners and guests for an inside look at the sophisticated, and until now, rarely seen 100,000 square-foot Research Center, where more than 350 engineers are developing the products and technologies of tomorrow; the 150,000 square foot manufacturing plant; the 50,000 square foot pre-production facility, and the 50,000 square foot worldwide distribution center. The appointment-only tours provide a compelling, in-depth look into the world of Crestron, to fully understand and appreciate the level of commitment, investment and expertise of Crestron, why it’s the global leader in digital HD technology and control solutions.

 

 

“Some people know us, and think of us as a big company and industry leader. Others may not have heard of us at all,” explains Crestron Executive Vice President, Randy Klein. “But to come here and see it all firsthand is always an eye-opening experience. It’s hard to imagine what we have and what we’re doing. You really have to come and see for yourself.”

 

The expansive new Experience Center was designed by world-renowned interior designer Andres Escobar. Fashionably appointed with the finest fixtures and furnishings, the center elegantly blends chic design with cutting-edge technology. Guests walk through the terrazzo entrance way and are transported from a typical corporate reception area into a bright, open grand atrium with rounded walls and a high ceiling that features geometric skylights. 

 

“When you walk through the doors you immediately know this is not a typical showroom or demo area,” observes Klein. “We didn’t rent or move into a generic commercial space. We started with a clean slate and challenged Andres to design a modern space that would create a unique atmosphere that would facilitate creativity and collaboration, and where we could also host events and showcase technology.”

 

The reception area features a 7.1 in-ceiling surround sound system, Digital Projection HD projector and Stewart Filmscreen StarGlas screen, Hubbell Lighting fixtures, Philips Color Kinetics three-color LED chase lights, Renaissance Lighting LED downlights, a custom made wave-shaped stainless steel counter with a quartz countertop and leather high-back stools. LED lights are installed throughout the center, and are dimmed and controlled from Crestron touchpanels to establish the desired ambiance for various occasions, such as a sales meeting or corporate event.

 

After welcoming guests and understanding their unique interests and needs, the Crestron Experience Center features several fully functional, state-of-the-art rooms in which to demonstrate how the latest technology looks, sounds and functions in a real-world environment. The presentation room and executive boardroom are completely furnished, and feature the latest solutions including a Digital Projection dVision projector and a Pioneer HD display, Hunter Douglas motorized shades and Crestron audio, video and control systems.

 

 

 

Vincent Bruno, Crestron Director of Marketing adds, “These aren’t simulated or mock application vignettes. These are actual installed systems in real fully-operational rooms.” Bruno continues, “No cost was spared and no detail was overlooked, right down to the modern designer bathroom, which is also Crestron controlled.”

 

The Theo Kalomirakis Home Theater, designed by the father of home theater himself, delivers the highest quality HD video and surround sound experience. Featuring Crestron PROCISE™ 7.3 HD surround sound processing, ADMS Intermedia Delivery System, Digital Projection TITAN three-chip 1080p projector, Stewart Filmscreen 143-inch CineCurve screen, Revel speakers, RPG acoustical room treatments and CinemaTech theater seats, guests are treated to nothing short of media euphoria.

 

Finally, the interactive design lab features more than 500 Crestron products on display. At their leisure, clients can peruse, compare and evaluate working, fully programmed entertainment systems, touchpanels and remote controls, lighting and HVAC systems. The entire facility has a digital infrastructure, fully wired with Crestron’s revolutionary DigitalMedia™ (DM) Cable, with DM components installed throughout, allowing visitors to experience the only end-to-end digital solution available today.

 

“It’s one thing to read a spec sheet online or flip through a catalog,” says Bruno. “But step into an environment like this and actually push buttons and watch magic happen is the best way to understand the benefits and value of our solutions.”

 

The Crestron Experience Center officially opens October 20th.

Crestron is especially grateful to all its partners who generously donated products and services to make this space the most advanced multimedia environment, and the best experience for all who visit:

Armstrong
CinemaTech
Digital Projection
Hubbell Lighting
Hunter Douglas
Philips Color Kenetics
Pioneer
Renaissance Lighting
Revel
RPG
Stewart Filmscreen
Theo Kalomirakis Theaters




About Crestron
For 40 years Crestron has been the world’s leading manufacturer of advanced control and automation systems, innovating technology to simplify and enhance modern businesses and lifestyles. Today, delivering direct network connected systems and the new Crestron DigitalMedia™ line, Crestron provides the only viable solution for the digital age. Its integrated solutions control AV, computer, and environmental systems from touchpanels, keypads, remotes and mobile devices. Crestron streamlines technology to improve resource management, operational efficiency and convenience in commercial buildings, schools, hotels and hospitals.

Crestron manufactures all products from its World Headquarters in New Jersey, with 57 regional offices throughout North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Australia.

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Aldine Independent School District Chooses MindPlay’s ‘My Reading Coach’ after Successful Pilot Program

Contact:        
 Kati Elliott/Brooke MacDonald
 KEH Communications           
  410-975-9638 
 
AldineIndependentSchool District Chooses MindPlay’s ‘My Reading Coach®’ after Successful Pilot Program
 
Students with disabilities in Aldine schools will gain reading skills with the help of a virtual reading specialist and self-paced multimedia instruction
 
Tucson, Ariz.September 24, 2009After piloting MindPlay’s My Reading Coach, Aldine Independent School District (AISD) awarded the company with a contract servicing 65 schools that will help thousands of Aldine students with disabilities learn to read. MindPlay’s My Reading Coach directly instructs students using virtual reading specialists and a speech pathologist to produce impressive results.
 
The district decided to pilot My Reading Coach after seeing it in use in three schools that had purchased the software. Students in those schools received high academic achievement scores and an improvement in self esteem. The district then piloted My Reading Coach in five schools to see if results would transfer to other schools. The data gathered from the five pilot sites showed significant gains in students’ Lexile and state assessment scores. In one of the pilot schools, 42% of the students who had formerly failed the TAKS, passed the retest and showed significant gains.
 
My Reading Coach provides every child with direct virtual reading instruction in a one-to-one computer-based environment.  The program offers comprehensive systematic instruction to help students gain skills in phonemic awareness, grammar, phonics, spelling, fluency and reading comprehension to get them reading at or above grade level.  The program offers lots of reading practice with more than 200 unique high-interest stories.
  
“In our hearts, we knew My Reading Coach could help thousands of students with reading disabilities in Aldine receive a ‘lifeline to learning’ by teaching them to read,” said Joyce Wehnes, educational consultant for MindPlay. “However, nothing speaks to a potential customer like results. This controlled experiment showed the district the real power of My Reading Coach that will help them close achievement gaps.”
 
About AldineIndependentSchool District
The center of AldineIndependentSchool District is located approximately 15 miles north of downtown Houston. Aldine’s vision is to create the nation’s best students by preparing each student to be a critical thinker, problem solver; and responsible and productive citizen. Aldine ISD ranks among the state’s high performing school districts according to data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). In 2008, Aldine welcomed 56,255 students and was the 12th largest school district in Texas. In September 2009, AISD was named the best urban school system in America and they were given the prestigious 2009 Broad Prize for Urban Education which honors large school systems making notable gains in student achievement .
 
About MindPlay
MindPlay® has been improving basic reading and academic skills of children and adults for more than 25 years. Our research-based solutions are used in schools, educational institutions, correctional facilities and homes worldwide. All struggling readers can learn to read, whether they are dyslexic, mainstream, or English Language Learners (ELL).The products currently available include My Reading Coach™, RAPS™360 Reading Analysis & Prescription System and FLRT™ a fluent reading trainer. For more information visit us on the web at www.mindplay.com.
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“Can-Do” attitude the key to winning University of Arts London contract for AccessPlanit

 

Lancaster based software specialist AccessPlanit, have just completed a highly successful project to install their ‘Course Manager’ software platform at the University of the Arts London.

Comprising six separate colleges, the internationally renowned University is Europe’s largest for the arts, design, fashion, communication and the performing arts. They run over 2000 separate courses each year and process in excess of 10,000 bookings.

Having recognized the need to streamline their current course administration system, which suffered the classic problems of data duplication, repetitive data entry and lack of integration with other key business systems, the University’s project team approached AccessPlanit for a product demonstration in November 2008.

The team was able to clearly see the way that Course Manager would make their own operation more efficient and allow them to make considerable savings on both their administration time and costs. The additional benefits of website and accounting system integration, as well as the e-commerce tools available helped them decide to order the Course Manager system.

Course Manager is a fully scalable, course booking and training administration system that is delivered as a hosted online package. With approximately 12 regular and 35 occasional users, the University’s staff can manage all of the key elements of the business side of offering courses and training, including booking, customer relationships, invoicing and marketing.

Jo White, Project Manager at the University commented “This has been a major project for us, and one that we could not afford to go wrong. We have been very impressed with the approach AccessPlanIT have taken. They have been professional and very accommodating when we have needed to make ad hoc changes throughout this project. Their “Can-Do” attitude made the whole project a positive experience and we’re delighted with how well things have gone.”

David Evans, Sales and Marketing Manager for AccessPlanit commented “this was an excellent project for us and we were able to greatly reduce the administration time and cost of the University’s complex booking requirements. Course Manager has also enabled the University to develop their online presence and services. We look forward to working with them as they continue to expand and improve their services.”

 

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BOARDDOCS LAUNCHES ALL NEW “PEOPLE MANAGER”

ATLANTA — BoardDocs®, the eGovernance pioneer, has announced that organizations will now be able to manage their user communities with unprecedented ease using the new People Manger. With People Manager, organizations can control administrative- and senior-level users by quickly and effortlessly updating authenticated user information.
 
Organizations will be able to change user passwords, as well as add, remove or edit board members and administrative users with a few simple key strokes. Additionally, the new People Manager allows for these changes to be made at the convenience of the organization.
 
“Providing our customers with the capability of managing their own user database while maintaining our high standards of security was a challenge that our team was eager to undertake,” said BoardDocs President and Chief Architect, Aristides Ioannides. “With the new People Manager, BoardDocs and BoardDocs LT subscribers now have the flexibility they want and the world-class security they have come to expect from BoardDocs.”
 
Now, BoardDocs system managers, also known as “document publishers”, will see the People Manager feature when they access their BoardDocs software. In most cases, changes made will be reflected in the system immediately. BoardDocs’ support staff will continue to respond to and manage user requests, but for those who want the added convenience of managing their users directly, People Manager is the ideal tool.

BoardDocs was developed specifically for school boards, local governments, and other private and public boards to alleviate the enormous task of assembling, printing, distributing and revising agenda items and policies. BoardDocs unique, state-of-the-art solutions increase transparency in governance, save taxpayers money and have a positive effect on the environment.

BoardDocs is the only eGovernance solution to use advanced Web 2.0 Technology to reinvent agenda creation and meeting management. It is also the only eGovernance vendor that provides 7×24, US-based technical support at no additional charge to all users of the system.
 
For more information about BoardDocs, call (800) 407-0141 or visit www.boarddocs.com to experience the paperless governance solution firsthand. 
 
About BoardDocs
Developed and marketed exclusively by Emerald Data Solutions, BoardDocs is the market leader and pioneer of eGovernance solutions. Serving more than 300 organizations nationwide, BoardDocs’ paperless agenda services give administrators and school boards turn-key electronic solutions for processing agenda items, supporting documents, policies and procedures. BoardDocs’ services alleviate the enormous task of assembling, printing, distributing and revising board packets. BoardDocs’ unique, state-of-the-art solutions also increase transparency in governance, save taxpayers money and have a positive effect on the environment. For more information, visit www.boarddocs.com or call (800) 407-0141.
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A Longtime Supporter of 21st Century School Library Programs,

Santa Barbara, CA As part of its ongoing commitment to support 21st Century school library programs, ABC-CLIO is proud to be a sponsor of the Critical Issues: Library Funding Webinar Series, which kicks off Tuesday, September 29th, and is produced by Library Media Connection magazine through its LMC@ The Forefront professional development .   

This four-session webinar series features leading educators and who will share a framework and steps to help school librarians grow the library program to meet 21st Century challenges. Attendees will learn to “tell the story” about the library’s mission and goals simply and effectively, develop a supporting budget and collection development plans, and then make the case for participation and funding from a variety of sources. Participants will acquire skills in collection analysis and development, indentifying resources, and in networking to build funding alliances. Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits are available for series participants.  
 
The topics and presenters for these sessions are:
·         Tuesday, September 29th, 3:30p.m. EST
Library Funding: Making Your Case Through “Power” Budgeting by Gail K. Dickinson, Assistant Professor Old Dominion University, VA
·         Tuesday, October 13th, 3:30p.m. EST
Library Funding: Making Your Case through Collection Analysis and Development by Sara Kelly Johns, Librarian, Lake Placid Middle School, NY; Past President of AASL
·         Tuesday, October 27th, 3:30p.m. EST
Library Funding: Making Your Case for In-District Alternative Funding Sources by Cynthia Anderson, Associate Superintendent Emerita, Shawnee Mission Public Schools, KS
·         Tuesday, December 8th, 3:30p.m. EST
Library Funding: Wrap-up Sharing and Project Critique by David Loerscher, Professor, San Jose State University
 
Attendees can participate live or via an archived version, or mix and match. They will also be able to share what they’re learning through an online collaborative forum. Tiered pricing makes the entire series an affordable option for everyone from single learners to groups of 20. Registration for individual sessions is also possible
 
For details and to register, visit http://www.linworth.com/lmc/?page=new_hot_stuff  or call 1-800-880-6834.
 
About ABC-CLIO
Founded in 1955, ABC-CLIO is an award-winning publisher of reference titles, academic and general interest books, electronic resources, and books for librarians and other professionals. Today, ABC-CLIO publishes under five well-respected imprints.  ABC-CLIO serves the history profession, history teachers, and students and scholars of history with a complete line of award-winning databases, books, and eBooks, along with social studies reference and curriculum resources for middle and high school libraries and classrooms. Greenwood Press publishes high-quality, authoritative reference books and general interest topics across the secondary and higher education curriculum. Praeger is widely regarded for scholarly and professional books in the social sciences and humanities, with emphasis in modern history, military studies, psychology, business, current events and social issues, international affairs, politics, visual and performing arts, and literature. Libraries Unlimited/Linworth publishes professional materials for librarians, media specialists, and teachers.
 
ABC-CLIO’s corporate headquarters is located in Santa Barbara, CA, with offices in Denver, CO. For more information, visit the ABC-CLIO website at: www.abc-clio.com.
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eCYBERMISSION Registration Now Open for 2009-2010




WASHINGTON, D.C. – Registration for the U.S. Army’s eighth annual national eCYBERMISSION competition opened on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009, at www.ecybermission.com.

 

Open to all U.S. and Department of Defense Education Activity students in grades six through nine, eCYBERMISSION is a free, web-based, science, math and technology competition that allows students to work together to solve a problem in their community while using the scientific method.

 

“As a nation, we are falling behind in the number of students pursuing careers in science, math and technology,” said Michael Lombardi, Research, Development, Engineering Command Program Manager for eCYBERMISSION. “eCYBERMISSION introduces students to the application of these subjects in a fun and interesting way, ultimately helping to solve a problem in their own communities. The Army hopes to encourage more students to take an interest in science, math and technology, as skills in these areas are vital to our nation’s security and defense.”

 

Teams are comprised of three to four students with an adult Team Advisor to serve as a mentor. To participate, teams must choose a project that falls into one of three Mission Challenge categories—Sports & Recreation, Environment, or Health & Safety—or accept the new Scenario Challenge. Students formulate a hypothesis, conduct research and experiments to test their theory, and compile their data into a Mission Folder, which is submitted along with any supporting documentation on the eCYBERMISSION web site. Students compete at both the regional and national level for up to $8,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds. Since the competition’s inception in 2002, the U.S. Army has awarded more than $6.7 million in prize money, and over 58,000 students have participated.

 

Registration for the 2009-2010 competition year will remain open through Dec. 18, 2009, and final Mission Folder submissions are due on Feb. 26, 2010. 

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For more information and to register, please visit www.ecybermission.com or contact eCYBERMISSION Mission Control at 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237) or via e-mail at missioncontrol@ecybermission.com.

 

For more latest news and updates, follow eCYBERMISSION at http://ecybermission.blogspot.com and http://twitter.com/ecybermission/.   

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Engineering program’s huge expansion includes Milwaukee area schools

A project-based curriculum known as Project Lead the Way has seen widespread expansion across the U.S., including within the Milwaukee Public Schools, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Last year, researchers examining the impact of the curriculum, which includes two weeks devoted to projects such as building golf-ball catapults and Popsicle-stick bridges, found that Riverside University High School seniors in the program attended school an average of eight more days during the school year than their peers. Those findings and other benefits are enough for Milwaukee to continue its rapid rollout of the pre-engineering program, with plans to add it to eight more schools over each of the next two years. After that, it will be in at least half of the school system’s middle and high schools. That’s exactly what leaders at the Waukesha-based Kern Family Foundation want to hear. In the five years since Kern partnered with Project Lead the Way to help its Midwest expansion, the number of Wisconsin schools offering the curriculum has expanded from two to more than 200. Nationwide, about 3,400 middle and high schools offer the program’s courses. Now, with the help of an additional $10 million from Kern, Project Lead the Way has the ambitious aim to spread its curriculum to nearly three times as many schools nationwide. With powerful proponents and few critics so far, the program’s biggest obstacle might be cost…

Click here for the full story

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