The Gates Foundation today announced $9 million in grants to support innovative delivery models in higher education. Among the awards is the foundation’s first contribution to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Specifically, the foundation is giving $1 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for its MITx project. The grant focuses on an effort to help colleges serving low-income students use a flipped-classroom approach in an official course based on MITx materials.
Other awards announced today include $500,000 to the University of the People–which uses volunteer professors to teach free online courses–to help the new university gain accreditation. The foundation’s biggest single grant–$3 million–goes to MyCollege to create a new non-profit college designed to deliver high-quality, low-cost courses. Gates is also awarding $1 million to suppurt the City University of New York’s effort to build a new campus–New Community College–which will try a “new and imaginative model” to help first-generation students complete a degree.
The set of grants signals an increase of the foundation’s support for “breakthrough delivery models,” said Josh Jarrett, deputy director of postsecondary success at the Gates Foundation.