Jackson State University is the recipient of a $100,000 technology grant from the Southern Company Foundation. This award is part of the company’s overall $50 million HBCU initiative announced last January.
“We are extremely pleased to be chosen to receive this grant from the Southern Company Foundation. The technology enhancements these funds aim to support will continue to help our students excel inside the classroom and beyond,” said Thomas Hudson, acting president of JSU.
Specifically, the funding will be used for the installation of HyFlex technology in classrooms, including live streaming cameras, computers with Bluetooth, Bluetooth microphones, presentation podiums, media pads, presentation systems and other supplies.
“As always, we are delighted to be able to provide additional technology-based support for students and faculty,” said Dr. Deborah Dent, chief information officer at JSU. “We are also excited about the voice activation features, which will make the platform easy to use.”
HyFlex combines the terms “hybrid” and “flexible” and is a course-design model that allows hybrid learning in a flexible course structure.
“This design model, which has become very popular due to COVID-19, gives students the option of attending classes face-to-face, participating online through a video platform such as Zoom or Google Meet or a combination of both,” Dent expounded.
“Students can also change their mode of attendance as needed, and faculty will see and communicate live with all students who are face-to-face or on an online platform.”
This round of grants will help address challenges created by the pandemic by funding technology tools, infrastructure support, professional development and IT services to select undergraduate HBCUs within the Southern Company’s system’s service footprint in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.
The Southern Company Foundation intends to open additional grant applications in support of other needs at qualifying HBCUs in the near future. The energy company will collaborate with academic leaders from across its footprint to identify areas of need and channel resources into the programs that will create the most impact.