Research Grants Will Shed Light on Best Practices for Higher Ed Online

Academic Partnerships awards funding to diverse projects led by faculty at 5 universities

Nov 17, 2015, 08:30 ET from Academic Partnerships

DALLAS, Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Academic Partnerships (AP), a leading global provider of online services for higher education, has announced the recipients of Round 2 of the company's 2015 Faculty Research Grant Program, which promotes continued advancement of best practices for online learning. The latest round of recipients comprises 16 faculty from five universities.

Since the program's inception in 2012, AP now has awarded $300,000 in grant funds to more than 90 faculty members at more than 20 universities in the United States. AP accepts proposals twice a year, during spring and fall, from faculty or staff members at AP partner institutions.

"Online education has opened doors for countless students around the globe to expand their knowledge, enhance their job skills and, ultimately, create better lives for themselves and their families," said Jennifer Scott, AP's Senior Vice President of Academic Products and Services. "We know that education is absolutely vital to the future of our economy, and online degree programs play an indispensable role in our ability to provide more opportunities for students to achieve their dreams."

In the latest round of grants, faculty members at the following universities will receive support from AP in their selected research areas:

University of West Florida: Online Discussion Forums and Student Anxiety
University of South Carolina: Online, Cohort-Formatted EdD Program: Doctoral Student Perceptions
Lamar University: Faculty Presence and Interactivity in Online Course Delivery;  ePortfolios: Factors Contributing to Long-Term Usage; and Enhancing Student Learning via Value Added Engineering Education (VAEE)
University of Texas at Arlington: Competency-Based Geometry Methods
University of Texas of the Permian Basin: Project UnTIE: Unplugging Technology, Increasing Engagement

The grant process is administered via Faculty eCommons (FeC), a social learning site created by AP to provide ongoing support from its expert academic consultants to faculty partners around the world. FeC offers industry research, best practices, and guidance and professional development with respect to online education and pedagogy. AP's goal is to offer resources that disseminate practical and evidence-based insights about online learning as well as the tools and templates that faculty can deploy to enhance their online courses.

Universal Access to Top-Quality Higher Education

Based on the philosophy that higher education has the power to transform the lives of countless global citizens, AP's mission is to help universities deliver universal access to top-quality higher education. Both public and private not-for-profit universities experience increased enrollment and revenues through the delivery of online instruction – an increasingly attractive option for busy professionals as well as prospective students otherwise constrained by cost, time and/ or location. Grant funds are targeted for research and development areas such as course-content design, faculty-student interaction, instructional technology and competency-based learning.

"Working with the renowned faculty at our partner universities, Academic Partnerships is always striving to make world-class education more accessible," said AP Founder Randy Best. "For the last three years, these grants have helped fund research that has refined our understanding of the most effective approaches for distance learning."  

AP helps faculty members convert their on-campus courses and programs into an online format, recruits qualified students for those programs and helps retain enrolled students through graduation. Additionally, AP supplies the up-front capital required to launch and market an institution's online portfolio. Universities that select AP can experience accelerated enrollment and revenue growth without incurring the substantial costs associated with building an online infrastructure. AP supports more than 50 universities worldwide from operations and service hubs in the United States and 10 other countries.

About Academic Partnerships
Academic Partnerships is a leading online service provider for higher education globally. The company assists universities in converting their on-campus degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students for those programs, and supports enrolled students through graduation. Serving public and private not-for-profit universities in the United States and top international institutions, Academic Partnerships is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through technology-aided learning make higher education more accessible and achievable. The company was founded by a social entrepreneur, Randy Best, who has spent nearly 20 years developing innovative learning solutions to improve education. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Academic Partnerships
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