Portland State University is rolling out $2.3 million in grants for new academic programs and approaches solicited from hundreds of faculty members.
It’s part of ReThink PSU — an effort to address costs, online learning, and rising achievement goals.
Among the funded projects: an all-online Masters of Social Work, a joint biology-chemistry intro class, and a “flipped class” approach to math.
That’s where students get lectures online outside of class, and use class time for problem solving.
The smallest award is $50,000 to develop electronic work portfolios, as a possible substitute for standardized tests.
Provost Sona Andrews notes that the biggest allotment targeted a handful of projects at PSU’s School of Business Administration.
“We made the decision that in the case of the School of Business, it would be a good investment to fund these projects in a big way and you can see that the total amount for the School of Business adds up to almost a million dollars. That we would fund those, to really launch that school in an area that they want to move in.”
Andrews says that area is online instruction for undergraduates. The $2.3 million in “provost challenge” grants come from fees that students pay for online courses.
Andrews says PSU wants to reduce that fee — so this is likely the only year for this grant program.