AAC&U Launches New Institute on Digital Equity
AAC&U announced today the nineteen higher education institutions and organizations that were selected to participate in its inaugural Institute on Digital Equity. Through virtual events, consultations, mentorship, and cross-team interactions, these participating teams are developing and implementing plans to promote digital equity on their campuses, in their communities/regions, and/or in their states. The institute launched with a two-day virtual kickoff event on September 28–29, 2023, and will conclude with a capstone closing event on April 18–19, 2024.
“The persistent gap between those who have access to broadband and opportunities to develop digital literacy skills and those who do not means that far too many are barred from full economic and social participation,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “We’re thrilled to partner with the participants in this new AAC&U institute and to support their efforts to address digital inequities both on and beyond their campuses.”
During the seven-month institute, and with ongoing support from institute faculty, each participating team is creating and implementing a comprehensive digital equity action plan. The teams began by clearly defining the goals of the initiative they seek to develop or expand and by identifying the evidence-based strategies and key partners needed to achieve those goals. Teams are guided in the development of innovation and leadership strategies to increase the probability of successfully scaling their digital equity initiatives. The institute is also providing guidance for participants that decide to apply for funding through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s forthcoming Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program.
“Many of the participating teams have noted that the pandemic made transparent what were previously invisible technological challenges experienced by many of their students,” said C. Edward Watson, Associate Vice President for Curricular and Pedagogical Innovation and Executive Director for Open Educational Resources and Digital Innovation at AAC&U. “As the Institute has unfolded, many teams have noted that having a national expert assigned to them as their ongoing mentor throughout this experience has been a game changer as they work to address these newly visible inequities.”
Listed below are the nineteen higher education institutions and organizations participating in the 2023–24 Institute on Digital Equity:
- Alvernia University
- Bradley University
- Bryant University
- California State University Dominguez Hills
- California State University Fullerton
- Coalition on Basic Adult Education
- College of Western Idaho
- Colorado Mountain College
- Columbia-Green Community College
- Dominican University
- Houston Community College District
- Louisiana Board of Regents
- Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government/University of Dubai/Prismatic Consortium
- North Carolina Central University
- Santa Barbara City College
- Seminole State College of Florida
- Stanford University Digital Equity Initiative
- Tarrant County College Connect Campus
- University of Alaska Fairbanks
For more information about the AAC&U Institute on Digital Equity, please visit www.aacu.org/digital-equity.
The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is a global membership organization dedicated to advancing the democratic purposes of higher education by promoting equity, innovation, and excellence in liberal education. Through our programs and events, publications and research, public advocacy, and campus-based projects, AAC&U serves as a catalyst and facilitator for innovations that improve educational quality and equity and that support the success of all students. In addition to accredited public and private, two-year, and four-year colleges and universities and state higher education systems and agencies throughout the United States, our membership includes degree-granting higher education institutions in more than twenty-five countries as well as other organizations and individuals. To learn more, visit www.aacu.org.