ACU was among 49 programs across the nation to be recognized as a center for educational excellence and leadership with the Apple Distinguished Program award on Jan. 18.
This honor is given to programs that take the initiative to merge technology and education and focus on the development of new educational resources for students and educators.
Each school must submit a lengthy application to be recognized by Apple’s education program. The schools ranked according to the quality of their programs as well as the level of innovation and research they’ve completed. After several rounds of eliminations, the remaining programs receive the distinction, and ACU was among the top honorees.
ACU is one of only 12 post-secondary institutions in the country to receive this honor. The initiative has put ACU on the map as a technological leader among the nation’s top universities, according to an article in ACU Today.Â ACU is in its fifth year of education-based technology research for mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad.
Bill Rankin, Director of Educational Innovation, is on the Board of Directors for Apple’s Distinguished Educator program. Rankin works to help sustain the group of distinguished teachers and to craft events where the community comes together to their work and learn from one another.
“What I really like about this recognition is that it’s about all of our work together – teachers and students – our entire academic community,” Rankin said. “We know we still have a long way to go, but it’s great to get this encouragement along the way.”
Based on stock value, Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world.
Recognition from a company as innovative as Apple is promising for ACU’s future, and this honor has given the ACU community an advantage to help recruit potential students, said Rankin.
Rankin believes this recognition will set ACU apart to potential students and their families. He knows that the world of education is changing, and with it comes changes in the classroom.
“After more than two decades as a teacher in higher education, I’ve never met a more inspirational, collaborative or dedicated group of teachers in my life.” Rankin said. “It’s been a great privilege to be part of this international community.”