The university has applied for the U.S. Department of Education’s First in the World grant which would provide almost $4 million over four years toward expanding existing student programs at ACU CitySquare Dallas.
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, the grants will fund the development and testing of innovation approaches and strategies at colleges and universities that improve college attainment and make higher education more affordable for students and families.
Mark Billingsley, director of research and sponsored programs, said the programs at CitySquare are helping students from the Dallas Independent School District make college affordable in an out-of-the-box way.
“The reason it’s so creative is because they are looking at things like portfolios, work already done in other capacities and credit that could be given,” he said. “We’re going to have to look at different ways to train students instead of just having bodies in a classroom.”
Dr. Robert Rhodes, provost of university, said the grant would be used for applying a competency-based approach to our work with students at CitySquare and the Abilene campus.
“It’s very competitive, but it’s worth pursuing,” Rhodes said.
The application was due by June 30 but the U.S. Department of Education has not announced when winners of the grant will be awarded.
“I hope we get it because I’m excited about the vision for the future,” Billingsley said.