Bethany College to Participate in Teagle Grant Funded Initiative

BETHANY, W.Va. - Bethany College, in cooperation with Davis & Elkins College, Emory & Henry College, The University of Charleston and West Virginia Wesleyan College, all members of the Independent College Enterprise (ICE), will soon begin an experiment in shared faculty thanks to a grant of $150,000 from the Teagle Foundation.

The collaboration will involve both distance learning and face-to-face classroom instruction and is designed to free up more math professors to teach higher-level courses. The members of ICE will hire a faculty member who will be the “lead teacher” for delivering foundational mathematics courses (also known as remedial or developmental math) to students at the five participating institutions. The “lead teacher” will be complemented by “local facilitators” at each college, who will help with hands-on instruction. This arrangement will let all the institutions address a critical general education need, free up math faculty for higher-level courses, and act as a pilot for future collaborative course delivery.

“By partnering with the members of Independent College Enterprise, Bethany College can further the educational opportunities of our students, while continuing to stay true to our mission,” stated Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of Bethany College.

In April, 2011, The Teagle Foundation provided a planning grant to ICE to “develop a collaborative course-delivery model that will reduce the cost of providing instruction in liberal arts colleges while maintaining or enhancing the quality of student learning.” The colleges, all private institutions with enrollment under 2,000 students, proposed two models, which will now be implemented in the fall 2012 semester. In both cases, a faculty member will teach a class in “real time” through distance education to students at multiple campuses. 

In 2001 five schools came together to create ICE, and a shared administrative computing system. There are now six member institutions, and the shared system is more robust than any one college could implement. College officials estimate that shared computing is saving each school nearly $200,000 annually. The success of ICE has created the base of cooperation for further collaboration, such as the current project.

The Teagle Foundation provides leadership for liberal education, mobilizing the intellectual and financial resources that are necessary if today's students are to have access to a challenging and transformative liberal education. The Foundation's commitment to such education includes its grantmaking to institutions of higher education across the country, its long-established scholarship program for the children of employees of ExxonMobil, and its work helping economically disadvantaged young people in New York City—where the Foundation is based—gain admission to college and succeed once there.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.