Southeastern awarded $370,00 in enhancement funds
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – Five grants totaling nearly $370,000 were awarded to Southeastern Louisiana University by the Louisiana Board of Regents to enhance technology in teaching.
The $369,811 in grant funding will help faculty improve student learning in math courses, purchase scientific and computerized equipment, and developed specialized programming.
Mathematicians Rebecca Muller and Tim Hudson were awarded $136,905 to fund the development of a second computer laboratory dedicated to programs designed to enhance learning in courses from intermediate algebra and pre-calculus.
“Introductory mathematics courses have historically presented obstacles to a considerable number of students beginning college,” said Hudson, head of the Department of Mathematics. “Five of the top 10 courses with the highest failure and withdrawal rates are mathematics courses. We’re looking to turn that around with some novel approaches. In addition, instructors will be available to work with students individually in the lab, targeting specific problem areas.”
The project involves using “MyMathLab,” a software program that provides interactive, guided homework problems, practice tests, online tutorials and assessment tools. “MyMathLab” has been documented to show significant student improvement at a wide range of U.S. colleges.
A $112,788 grant was awarded to Camille Yates and Colleen Klein-Ezell of the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education and Human Development to implement an assisted learning program called Project CUDLE (“Creating Universally Designed Learning Environments.”)
“Educators today are challenged to teach all kinds of learners to high standards,” Yates said. “The difficulty lies in the fact that many students struggle to learn for any number of reasons, including learning disabilities, language barriers and emotional problems.”
Through Project CUDLE, community partnerships will be enhanced through opportunities for hands-on/interactive learning through the use of a mobile assistive technology lab, universal access computer stations, a lending library that loans assistive technology, adapted toys, videos, guides, family friendly information, and summer training.
The project will allow students, faculty and family members to learn how to integrate instructional methods and a variety of technology to increase effective learning opportunities for students. Once the project is implemented, Southeastern will be one of the first universities in the area to offer a comprehensive set of courses based on best practices for teachers in the area of assistive and instructional technology.
The Department of Chemistry and Physics is receiving an $88,500 grant to purchase a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer, an instrument that helps chemists to determine the mass and structure of compounds. Southeastern chemists will use the equipment to enhance the department’s research capabilities – including the creation of new organic compounds and quick identification and analysis of post-Katrina contaminants from the New Orleans area.
“It’s important that we have this state-of-the-art equipment to support our increased research activity, a new chemistry track in our Integrated Science and Technology program, the collaboration of our students with area industry on a number of projects, and our commitment to training our students in the latest scientific technology,” said. Debra Dolliver, assistant professor of chemistry.
A $22,400 grant will allow the university’s College of Business to greatly expand its Mobile Think Tank System (MTTS), an innovative meeting facility equipped with technology that enhances decision making and problem solving. The system, complete with laptop computers networked to run the Think Tank software operates as both a computer-mediated meeting place and a mobile computer lab.
“It’s a great opportunity for our students to learn innovative groupware technology while also providing a valuable service to non-profits,” said Barb Schuldt of the Department of Management. “Last year, we successfully facilitated sessions for the Tangi Food Pantry and the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce. This year, we hope to expand the service to other community-based organizations.”
A fully equipped play therapy room in Southeastern’s Family Resource facility will be the outcome of a $9,218 grant to the Department of counseling and Human Development, said Mary Ballard, interim head of the department. The facility will be used by graduate counseling students in providing therapeutic services to children throughout the region. Ballard said the equipment will be both child friendly and therapeutically appropriate and will help in the recruitment of students looking to become registered play therapists.