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Richard Bland College of William & Mary Dean Named To National Digital Fellows Program

Richard Band College of William & Mary Dean of Faculty and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Vern L. Lindquist, has been selected to participate in The Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO) Digital Fellows Program. Dr. Lindquist is one of 32 provosts and chief academic officers (CAOs) chosen nationwide for the prestigious program supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The ACAO Digital Fellows Program is designed to provide critical information, effective resources, and tested strategies to help CAOs and their faculty understand and adopt high-quality digital courseware.

“It is an honor to have been chosen by the ACAO to participate in the Digital Fellows Program,” said Dr. Lindquist. “It recognizes the tremendous progress that Richard Bland College has made in using digital technology to increase student success. The program complements RBC’s Exceptional Student Experience (ESE@RBC) initiative, as well.  ESE@RBC combines personalized student support with predictive analytics tools to improve student retention toward degree completion.”

According to the ACAO, the goal of this project is to explore ways to use digital technology to increase the retention and persistence to graduation among undergraduates, especially those who are first generation, low income or students of color. Additionally, the ACAO Fellowship Program will curate a rich, public archive of resources on digital learning and related issues to serve the community of CAOs who want to leverage digital curricular materials to foster student engagement and enhance student learning at their institutions.

“We were delighted with the response from the CAO community to the fellowship opportunity,” said Laura Niesen de Abruna, principal investigator for the ACAO Digital Fellows Program and provost at York College of Pennsylvania. “The 32 men and women selected as ACAO Digital Fellows represent a wide variety of campuses and bring a rich portfolio of personal, professional and professorial experience and expertise to this initiative.”

The year-long fellowship opportunity includes four meetings of the Fellowship recipients for workshops on digital learning.  The meetings will bring together all of the ACAO fellows, plus experts in the areas of digital courseware, digital learning, leadership and innovation, and other related topics.

The Gates Foundation grant also includes support for individual campus projects focused on digital learning.

About ACAO

Chartered in 2013, the vision of the ACAO is to provide professional development and networking opportunities to all individuals who are responsible for the leadership of academic affairs in institutions of higher education. The ACAO provides a network of support for CAOs through its e-lists, professional resources and annual conference held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Council on Education (ACE). www.acao.org

About Richard Bland College

Richard Bland College of William & Mary is a selective, residential, two-year College that provides a rich learning experience at a reasonable cost for students preparing for transfer to highly ranked colleges and universities. Richard Bland students rate our professors among the best in the region, yet tuition and fees are among the lowest. The College boasts intercollegiate athletics, signature programs, and a small and diverse student population of 2,200 on a picturesque 750+acre campus located just south of Richmond, Virginia. www.rbc.edu

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