Charter Oak Awarded Prestigious National Grant

Charter Oak State College building

College Selected to Study Breakthrough Models for Improving Student Outcomes

Charter Oak State College is one of seven colleges and universities nationally to be selected by EDUCAUSE, the League for Innovation in the Community College, and Next Generation Learning Challenges to study new models for improving both productivity and student outcomes. The program, Breakthrough Models Incubator, is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Charter Oak State College will receive grant support to participate in the program.

Other colleges selected include Austin Peay State University, Ball State University, SUNY-Empire State College, Harper College, Montgomery County Community College, and the University of Maryland University College.

Ed Klonoski, President of Charter Oak State College said, "It is reaffirming for us to be represented among such an extraordinary group of diverse, forward-thinking institutions dedicated to finding innovative ways to improve student outcomes. We are looking forward to participating in this study and continuing to bring emerging approaches to earning college degrees to our students both here in Connecticut and nationally."

Diana Oblinger, CEO of EDUCAUSE said, "The goal of Next Generation Learning Challenges is to improve college readiness and completion by accelerating and scaling breakthroughs in technology-enabled innovation. The Breakthrough Models Incubator will serve institutions that seek to dramatically improve student success in terms of persistence and graduation, through more personalized, mastery-based approaches to learning, enabled in part by technology."

 The Incubator will connect its participating institutions with the leaders of emerging models and provide a range of supports including:

  • Analysis and information on emerging models, such as competency-based student progression, or educational pathways;
  • Opportunities to network with peer Incubator institutions and national experts through face-to-face workshops, webinars, and a collaborative online space;
  • Individualized coaching on planning and design from experts with experience in these models;
  • Incentives, including $150,000 in grant support, to complete, approve, and launch the plan.

 The ultimate goal of the Incubator is to broadly accelerate the adoption of innovative strategies for two-year and four-year institutions. Beginning with a small pilot group, the Incubator will work with successive cohorts to create an expanding network.

 Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) accelerates educational innovation through applied technology to dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States. This multi-year program provides investment capital to expand the use of proven and emerging learning technologies, collects and shares evidence of what works, and fosters innovation and adoption of solutions which will dramatically improve the quality of learning in the United States. NGLC is managed by EDUCAUSE in partnership with the League for Innovation in the Community College, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. Funding for the Breakthrough Models Incubator is being provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.