Next Generation Learning Challenges Announces Wave III

Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) announced today the availability of $12 million in grants for comprehensive models that apply technology to personalize students’ learning experiences as a part of its Wave III challenge.
“There is a great deal of data showing that many students are not prepared to succeed in college,” said Ira Fuchs, NGLC Executive Director. “Technology has the power to disrupt the status quo, and is beginning to do so in education. Now is the time to identify and scale initiatives that are having success and then accelerate their adoption across the education spectrum.”
Wave III, which focuses on college readiness and completion, includes the following two RFPs:

  1. Wave IIIa, Breakthrough Models for College Readiness, and
  2. Wave IIIb, Breakthrough Models for College Completion.

Wave IIa will seek technology-enabled, whole-school solutions across grades 6-12.  Applicants would be eligible for $150,000 pre-launch planning grants and up to $300,000 in one-to-one matching funds. NGLC expects to make up to twenty $150,000 awards and has a pool of $3 million for the one-to-one matching funds. NGLC will be seeking both district and charter school applicants who seek to launch new blended school models.
Wave IIIb will seek innovations in online and blended learning programs for higher education associate and bachelor degrees.  Wave IIIb additionally poses the question:  Have learning, policy, and organizational processes advanced far enough to enable associate and bachelor degree programs to be delivered for $5,000 or less per student per year without sacrificing quality, accessibility, or scalability? NGLC believes such potential exists and seeks to answer the question and provide findings to the field. Applicants, including accredited public, private or for-profit institutions of higher education, are eligible for awards up to $1 million.
In addition to providing investment capital through grants, NGLC is working to build a body of evidence supporting innovators and technologies that improve student success in the U.S.
“Complete programs of study that redesign the learning process and personalize the learners’ experience can dramatically improve student success,” said Diana Oblinger, President and CEO of EDUCAUSE, a professional organization that seeks to advance higher education through the use of information technology and is the managing partner of the NGLC initiative.
NGLC’s first two waves of challenges were a great success, awarding millions of dollars to 48 organizations across the U.S. and globe. Wave III, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is expected to be instrumental in developing new education approaches.
“Our first two waves of grants invested in catalytic building blocks to support new educational approaches that directly counter outdated elements of our current education system,” said Fuchs. “In Wave III, our emphasis moves from specific learning materials to whole school models and complete degree programs that reorganize the learning process and redefine student experiences.”
More information can be found at

Getting Smart Staff

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