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EAC receives $10,000 grant from the Qwest Foundation to develop hybrid online courses

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By Todd Haynie

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College recently received a grant from the Qwest Foundation to improve and update teachers’ skills in the delivery of instruction. Specifically, the grant will be utilized for developing hybrid-online courses to supplement the course offerings already available to local high school students in grades 11 and 12 and to provide pre-entry classes in motivation, critical thinking, study skills, and test-taking skills.

Hybrid-online is defined as courses that have face-to-face and online components. Combining the two elements of instruction can benefit the student by allowing for self-paced learning while still providing personal interaction with the teacher.

“Our goal is to provide an alternative method of teaching and learning for students in the local high schools,” said Jeanne Bryce, EAC dean of instruction. “Skillfully-developed, hybrid-online courses will provide greater opportunity for students to get skills necessary for success at the college level.”

EAC’s advantage in obtaining the grant is that it is a member of the Graham County Wireless Interactive Instructional Consortium. This consortium provides students and teachers online learning via 2-way video/audio from seven local school districts to the College. Students from these local schools can actually view the class and interact with the instructor or with each other, right from their home school.

"This program exemplifies what the Qwest Foundation sets out to do on two fronts,” said Pat Quinn, Qwest Arizona president. “Education and preparation for higher education are core values for Qwest. Anytime we can demonstrate our Spirit of Service and help to educate those in our service territory, it’s a winning combination for everyone involved.”

The Qwest Foundation awards grants through community-based programs in the area of preK-12 education. The foundation considers programs that effectively use technology to improve preK-12 public school instruction, promote innovative models to strengthen this education, improve the skills and leadership of educators and parents, and promote innovative early childhood education programs.