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Welcome to a new feature of the Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Web site. This is where we will post new information that we hope will be of interest to academia and the general public. We welcome your comments, questions, and requests for additional resources that you would like to see. Send your remarks to Sarah T. Beaton, FIPSE Program Officer, at

President Honors Outstanding Science, Math, Engineering Mentors

On January 21, 2011 President Obama named 11 individuals and 4 organizations as recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. One of the eleven individuals honored is Anthony Carpi of John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, the project director for FIPSE Comprehensive Grant P116B060183 entitled Teaching the Process of Science. In a press release, the White House noted that the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, awarded each year to individuals or organizations, recognize the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science or engineering—particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in those fields. By offering their expertise and encouragement, mentors help prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers while ensuring that tomorrow’s innovators reflect the full diversity of the United States. “These individuals and organizations have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that the United States remains on the cutting edge of science and engineering for years to come,” President Obama said. “Their devotion to the educational enrichment and personal growth of their students is remarkable, and these awards represent just a small token of our enormous gratitude.”

The ELIXR Project

The Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) ELIXR Project was recently selected as an Innovation Award finalist by the Professional and Organizational Network in Higher Education in 2010. The competition recognizes innovative ideas that have improved learning and teaching, as well as enhanced the general effectiveness of higher education faculty members. MERLOT established the ELIXR Project in 2006 with the help of a Comprehensive Program Grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). The objective of the ELIXR Project was to accelerate the adoption of exemplary teaching practices by faculty members at universities because of the increasing importance of developing effective and efficient faculty development programs. The innovative approach that ELIXR took was twofold: (1) to cultivate the development and use of discipline-specific case stories on exemplary teaching practices through collaborations across institutions; and (2) to use new and existing technologies to make these case stories readily accessible. These case stories feature faculty who apply an exemplary teaching practice for engaging learners in x [a topic or capability] with r [an exemplary teaching practice and resources to re-use] – ELIXR. These case stories are first person narrative videos that capture the reflections of faculty who are learning to use an exemplary teaching practice. They also contain at least four student reflections about the experience of learning from the faculty member. This project has resulted in 79 developed case stories covering 19 teaching topics and 43 different disciplines. What ensured the success of this project was the support ELIXR received from the 30 diverse contributing partner institutions. The “cornerstone” of this partnership was the California State University System, providing twelve of those partners. Through an agreement with MERLOT, the ELIXR Project will be hosted on their website ensuring sustainability for the next five years.

9/11 Living Memorial Digital Archive

In 2009, VOICES of September 11th (VOICES) began creating a digital archive of photographs, written materials, and personal keepsakes from families around the country whose lives were in some way affected by the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. Funding from a 2009 Congressionally-directed Grant managed by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), enabled VOICES to partner with Southern Connecticut University to establish a graduate course entitled “The Development of Digital Memorials and Cultural Archives.” The course will educate approximately 20-40 graduate and continuing education students, over two semesters, in the theories and techniques needed to plan, create, and sustain digital archives. The training will enable participating citizens, communities, or organizations to record and preserve memories of events and people. Graduate students work in conjunction with team members from VOICES; this provides the graduate students with a meaningful and purposeful experience to illustrate the significance that digital archiving can have. The educational aspect of this project helps to accomplish VOICES’ goal of honoring and commemorating the lives of those affected by the events on September 11, 2001. The digital archive graduate project continues through fiscal year 2011 with funding from a 2010 Congressionally-directed grant.

The Posse Foundation and College Summit are Among 10 Charities to Share President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Money

On March 11, 2010 President Barack Obama announced that he is donating $125,000 to College Summit, a national nonprofit organization to increase college enrollment rates, and $125,000 to the Posse Foundation which awards scholarships to promising public high school students. "These [ten] organizations do extraordinary work in the United States and abroad helping students and veterans and countless others in need," Obama said in a statement. Both College Summit and the Posse Foundation received early support from FIPSE. College Summit was the recipient of two FIPSE Comprehensive Grants in 2000 and 2003 and the Posse Foundation received a FIPSE Comprehensive Grant in 1998.

College Summit Releases The Promise of Proficiency White Paper

Earlier this fall, College Summit guided an influential group of national leaders, including the CEOs of PepsiCo, Google, Deloitte LLP, the Dallas Mavericks, and the President of Princeton University, to advocate for college proficiency. On December 3, 2009, College Summit joined with the Center for American Progress to release The Promise of Proficiency, a white paper that argues that our nation's high schools are flying blind without college data and discusses what can be done about it. College Summit is an innovative program that helps students from low-income families select schools, complete college applications, write personal statements, and apply for financial aid. In 2000 College Summit was awarded a FIPSE Comprehensive grant entitled "College Summit – The Pipeline to College for America's Low Income, Mid-Tier Students." College Summit was awarded another FIPSE Comprehensive Grant in 2003 for a project entitled "College Summit – A Collaborative Solution to Increase College Access for and Retention of Low-Income Youth."

First Cohort of Ten Colleges and Universities to Build Bridges with Indian Institutions

At its Fifth Annual Best Practices Conference attended by more than 150 international education professionals from college and university campuses the Institute of International Education announced the ten colleges and universities that were selected to participate in the pilot group on developing institutional linkages with India for the FIPSE-funded International Academic Partnerships Program (IAPP). The pilot group of ten U.S. campuses selected to participate in IAPP consists of: California State University - San Bernardino, College of William and Mary, Florida Atlantic University, Oakland Community College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Spelman College, St. Cloud State University, The University of Tulsa, University of South Carolina and Winston Salem State University. These campuses were chosen from a competitive candidate pool of more than 75 nominations and represent the breadth of U.S. institutions. They include historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), women’s colleges, large research universities and liberal arts colleges. The group was selected by an advisory committee of experts in the field to help guide the new partnership program.

FIPSE Grantees Among 2010 Winners of the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization

FIPSE has awarded recent international grants to two of the five schools cited by NAFSA: Association of International Educators for "overall excellence in campus internationalization" – the University of San Francisco in California and Northeastern University. The University of San Francisco in California has a 2007 EU-U.S. Atlantis Program grant entitled Policy Project in Benchmarking Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship Education. The university also served as a partner institution to Regis University on a 2004 U.S.-Brazil Program grant entitled Conservation and Reclamation in a Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Education. Northeastern University is a partner institution on a current EU-U.S. Atlantis Program grant to the University of Wisconsin – Madison entitled Policy Project in Transnational Applied Research in Gender Equity Training (TARGET).

Innovations 2010 Conference

Two current FIPSE grantees presented papers drawing on findings from their FIPSE projects at the Innovations 2010 Conference held in Baltimore, Maryland, from March 28-31, 2010. Rene Prupes of the Dallas County Community College District spoke of "Engaging Students: Partnering With Families for Student Success" based on work coming out of a 2006 FIPSE Comprehensive Grant entitled Family Involvement for Latino Success in College. Susan Henderson of Tallahassee Community College spoke of "Developing an Effective Digital Repository Using the OnCoRe Blueprint" based on a 2006 FIPSE Comprehensive Grant entitled A Blueprint for the Establishment of a Statewide Standards-Based Digital Repository. The Innovations Conference is dedicated to improving student and organizational learning through innovation, experimentation, and institutional transformation.


Features from 2009 | FIPSE Home

Last Modified: 02/28/2012