OLC Awarded Grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to Support Minority-Serving Institutions in Pivot to Online Learning


The grant will enable OLC to provide affordable, short-term workshops on key topics, to faculty and staff of MSIs, as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BOSTON, Mass. (May 13, 2020) — The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of digital learning worldwide, today announced it has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to provide affordable professional development resources to minority-serving institutions (MSIs) as they make the rapid shift to online instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the current environment, higher education institutions have been challenged to quickly scale up training to prepare staff to convert classrooms to online, or adequately teach in the online format. The challenge is particularly acute for under-resourced MSIs. The grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will enable OLC to provide affordable, short-term workshops on relevant topics related to online learning to those institutions that are most in need.

“Right now, there is an urgent need for this training, particularly among those organizations with insufficient resources,” said Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D., chief executive officer for the Online Learning Consortium. “With the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s support, OLC will be better able to quickly address the demand and provide the much-needed professional development resources to help MSIs manage their online transition.”

Under this grant-funded initiative, OLC is making 13 workshops, including five self-paced options, available at a discount for novice online instructors and staff, on topics ranging from Getting Started and Converting Your Course, to Engaging Learners in Online Discussions and ADA & Web Accessibility.

Registration is now open for workshops available under this program, with the program expected to run through December 2020. The full list of available workshops, along with eligibility criteria for the discounted courses, can be found on the OLC website.  

About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators, dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences designed to reach and engage the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime. OLC inspires innovation and quality through an extensive set of resources, including, best-practice publications, quality benchmarking, leading-edge instruction, community-driven conferences, practitioner-based and empirical research and expert guidance. The growing OLC community includes faculty members, administrators, trainers, instructional designers, and other learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. Visit http://onlinelearningconsortium.org for more information.

About the Alfred P, Sloan Foundation

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in three broad areas: direct support of research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics; initiatives to increase the quality and diversity of scientific institutions; and efforts to enhance and deepen public engagement with science and scientists. sloan.org