Marshall Fund Releases IT Study on Public HBCUs
The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund (TMSF) organization released An Assessment of Current Information Technology Usage, the first comprehensive study of information technology usage among the 44 historically Black public colleges and universities (HBPCUs) that are affiliated with the Marshall scholarship fund. The study, released in April, highlights “best practices” among TMSF member schools and provides insight into how the institutions compared with higher education institutions with the most sophisticated information technology infrastructures.
The study unveils research that allows member schools to gauge their technology usage in comparison to the nation’s most technologically advanced universities. This information is intended to help member schools identify strategies toward optimum technology usage on their campuses and in their curriculum delivery.
“This is a critically important study in identifying significant IT opportunities, needs and challenges for our member HBPCUs, and its findings have broad implications for all historically Black colleges and universities,” says Dwayne Ashley, president of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund Inc. “We believe that the investment in the study by IT corporations such as Microsoft and Hewlett Packard underscore the importance of technology in Black higher education. We hope that corporations and foundations will see opportunities to join TMSF in assisting HBPCUs in achieving greater IT success.”
Based on an IT usage study developed by the Booz, Allen & Hamilton consulting company, the research model contains six areas for evaluation of TMSF institutions: strategy, organization, finance, technology, teaching and training. Researchers used their findings to assign the institutions to Stage I, Stage II or Stage III in terms of their sophistication in the six IT evaluation areas.
Key findings under the model component of teaching include:
n Eight institutions have more than 50 percent of their classes actively using the Web to enhance student learning.
n 61 percent have a formal group advocating technology education for faculty.
n Only two institutions have more than 50 percent of their classes with materials on the Web.
n Eight out of 10 institutions have classes that conduct research and make limited usage of emerging technologies.
Other key findings of the overall study include:
n Seven out of 10 institutions are at the Stage II level of sophistication regarding planning. A majority of campuses are using IT strategic plans.
n More than half the 44 member institutions have hired a chief information officer.
n 42 institutions have a campus network.
n Most have sophisticated IT infrastructures.
n Most have wired offices, and the faculty offices of most are wired.
n A majority of campuses are moderately to highly sophisticated in training for computer literacy, software and the Internet.
The IT study was conducted by Booz, Allen & Hamilton, the Gallup Organization and EVAXX Inc. Booz, Allen & Hamilton, the Gallup Organization, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft Corp. funded the study.
“Results from this research will assist TMSF’s member schools in staying competitive in the information technology arena, setting benchmarks for improvement and most importantly, maximizing the usage of IT,” says Dr. N. Joyce Payne, founder of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and a member of its board of directors. “IT success will enable these institutions to continue attracting and retaining top faculty and best preparing students to be competitive job candidates in a wired business marketplace.”
Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund’s 44 schools enroll more than 215,000 students, a figure that represents 77 percent of the HBCU student population. TMSF has awarded more than $14.2 million in scholarships and program support in its 14-year history.
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