Philander Smith College awarded $200,000 grant from the Windgate Foundation

STATE-OF-THE-ART CLASSROOMS WILL BE CREATED at Philander Smith College using a $200,000 grant from the Windgate Foundation of Little Rock, Arkansas. 

According to President Roderick Smothers, these hybrid classrooms will incorporate advanced video conferencing technology capabilities in the Myer L. Titus Academic Center, the Kresge-Mabee Science Building, the Harry R. Kendall Science and Health Mission Center, the D.W. Reynolds Library, and the Ottenheimer Business Building. 

“Designated as a “COVID-19 Assistance” grant, the award will allow Philander Smith College to utilize the most sophisticated technology to reach our students and support our faculty,” Smothers added. 

Charles King, Vice President for Institutional Advancement said, “We are very grateful to the Windgate Foundation for their support. This partnership will help strengthen our academic enterprise as we navigate the challenges presented by this pandemic.”

In a statement, Patricia M. Forgy, Executive Director of the Wingate Foundation said, “We extend our best wishes to you and thank you for your efforts during this overwhelming time. It is our pleasure to be among your supporters.”

Six classrooms in the aforementioned academic buildings will be transformed into live teaching spaces utilizing technology.

In July 2020, Philander Smith College proactively introduced a limited services model for our campus community for the Fall 2020 semester. This model was implemented due to the continuing concerns pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this model, PSC students could enroll at our College in three ways – online, on-campus, or hybrid.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Anthony Johnson and Dr. Shannon Clowney- Johnson, Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, identified a major problem encountered by the faculty because of COVID-19. Because of our small size, several courses are only offered once on the course schedule. As a result, many courses have a combination of students enrolled in them (online, on-campus, and hybrid) which causes the faculty to deliver the content of one course in three different ways. A solution that will immediately reduce this hardship is advanced technology in our classrooms.

With this equipment, a professor can teach live to both students in the classroom space and to those participating online. These technology upgrades will provide a smart conference camera that captures 360° video and audio for engaging distance learning that tracks movement and delivers crystal clear audio to students via distance. This will provide online students a classroom experience that is incredibly supportive to their academic success.