Blackboard: helping students ease the financial burden of college

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Sponsor Focus

By Andrea Spisak


2009 LDRSHIP Award Recipient, Moises Torres (Lincoln College of Technology – Grand Prairie, TX)

Education isn’t just an investment of time and energy. Significant money for tuition, books and living expenses is also needed. Student loans are always a possibility, but they have to be repaid. This is where a scholarship can be a student’s best friend and the key to a student getting his or her college degree. Blackboard Professional Education (ProEd), a well-known company that creates teaching and learning solutions for the career college market, is helping make scholarships available for students through its partnership with the Imagine America Foundation.

Blackboard ProEd provides financial assistance to military veterans, reservists, and honorably discharged and/or active young men and women who are returning from military service through its support of the Imagine America Foundation’s LDRSHIP Award. (The acronym LDRSHIP stands for Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless service, Honor, Integrity and Personal courage.) Students are eligible to apply for a cash grant of up to $5,000 toward their current career college education if they maintain a 3.5 or higher grade point average and have at least a 95 percent attendance record.

Blackboard ProEd, a vital sponsor of the Foundation’s LDRSHIP Award, employs more than 1,000 people who believe in the idea that we cannot thrive without better education. After working with more than 5,000 institutions and millions of users, Blackboard has become focused on a single mission: to increase the impact of education by transforming the experience of education. In today’s difficult economic environment, career colleges are experiencing a rise in demand. Much of this can be attributed to displaced and disillusioned workers looking to change careers.

The increased demand for career college education comes with challenges. Schools must now be able to support a growing student population and deliver effective learning programs that match the diverse schedules and geographies of today’s learners. In addition to these new challenges, career colleges also continue to work toward maintaining high retention rates and student success.


2009 LDRSHIP Award Recipients
Left to right: Moises Torres (Lincoln College of Technology – Grand Prairie, TX); Christina Jaramillo (Provo College – Provo, UT); Robert L. Martin, Imagine America Foundation, President; Juan Sapon (ITT Technical Institute – Houston, TX); and Christopher Harkleroad (Triangle Tech – DuBois, PA)

In order to meet these challenges, schools need a dependable online learning platform to keep students actively engaged, enable assessments of student learning, and accommodate a school’s growth in population and programs. Blackboard Learn, Blackboard ProEd’s flagship solution, is able to meet schools’ challenges. It provides engagement and assessment activities that include course delivery, community engagement, content management and outcome assessment. Blackboard’s dedication to transforming the educational experience for today’s students, in addition to their financial commitment to helping students become college graduates, makes them a valuable contributor to the career college sector.

The Imagine America Foundation’s LDRSHIP Award offers a great opportunity for military personnel who are looking to go back to school or who are in the process of trying to complete their postsecondary education.

Robert L. Martin, President of the Imagine America Foundation, said, “We are grateful to Blackboard for their support of this important program for the United States military community. Without sponsors such as Blackboard, the Foundation would not be able to provide these awards to deserving military personnel.”

For more information about Blackboard, please visit www.blackboard.com/careercolleges.

For more information on the Imagine America LDRSHIP Award, please visit www.imagine-america.org.