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Bay Path Receives $3.5M Grant for Online Programming

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University has been awarded a U.S. Department of Education First in the World grant for the support of innovative online programming for women. The $3.5 million grant will be awarded over four years, beginning Oct. 1.

Out of nearly 500 applicants, the U.S. Department of Education awarded 24 grants nationally. Bay Path University is one of six minority-serving institutions, one of three women’s institutions, and one of two institutions in Massachusetts to receive the coveted grant.

The First in the World grant, which provides grants to institutions of higher education to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes, will support Bay Path University’s all-women, all-online degree program known as the American Women’s College, the first of its kind in the nation, which was launched earlier this year. Specifically, the grant will fund the development of the Social Online Universal Learning (SOUL) platform.

“We are honored to receive an award that allows us to continue to advance adult women on a trajectory for academic success and degree completion that will have a significant impact on women, their families, communities, and workplaces” said Dr. Carol Leary, president of Bay Path University. “Bay Path’s innovative approach to learning is poised to reach the 76 million women in America who currently do not have a bachelor’s degree. With this grant, we will be able to help adult women achieve accelerated success in online education.”

SOUL accelerates the degree-attainment process for students by creating an adaptive, customized learning environment that integrates robust learning analytics for instruction, providing immediate feedback on individual academic performance and wrap-around support needed to excel, such as coaching, proactive counseling, virtual learning communities, and social networking.

“After receiving nearly 500 applications from around the country, we’re excited to announce that Bay Path University will receive a First in the World grant, funded for the first time this year,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Each grantee demonstrated a high-quality, creative, and sound approach to expand college access and improve student outcomes. We are confident these projects will have a positive impact on increasing access on completion and help us reach President Obama’s 2020 goal to once again have the highest share of college graduates in the world.”

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