Funded by the Sloan Foundation and in partnership with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), Sloan-C is offering students displaced by Hurricane Katrina an opportunity to continue their education at no tuition cost. The initiative is called the “Sloan Semester” and more information can be found at www.sloansemester.org.
The day the New Orleans levees failed, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation was already meeting with educators about the role of ALNs in disaster preparedness and relief efforts. Within two days, the Sloan Foundation approved and funded a 1.1 million dollar grant to provide tuition-free online courses to students, including National Guard members, whose educations had been disrupted by Katrina.
Two weeks later, more than 1,000 students and 200 regionally accredited colleges and universities had signed on to http://www.sloansemester.org where the Southern Regional Board's Electronic Campus had created a catalog of more than a thousand tuition-free courses for students to take back when their campuses reopen. "Most of the students are from institutions based in New Orleans who are hoping to bridge from this difficult time and to return to their home institutions," said Dave Spence, President of the Southern Regional Education Board. "We are also accepting students who are in the National Guard and will miss their regular fall term as a result of being called to active duty in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."
Frank Mayadas, President of the Sloan Consortium says that support is also being offered to institutions who are not directly impacted by the hurricane, but that are struggling to meet the needs of students who have relocated to their campuses. " If a student can't get a full load or if the host institution doesn't offer a specific course, Sloan Semester is a great resource so students can bridge back to their home campuses."
A team of advisors from the providing schools and from the impacted schools are helping students find the best matches for the courses they need. Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation provides answers to frequently asked questions and a toll-free call center. A Sloan Semester Faculty Resource Page provides guidance for faculty, and a donations page lists delivery and materials resources.
Burks Oakley of the University of Illinois, co-chair of the initiative with John Bourne of Olin College and Babson College, was happy to see the project fly from concept to reality within 16 days due to the generosity and work of many schools and organizations.
Student registration, which began September 19, 2005, is still open, and online classes in the accelerated semester are set to begin October 10, 2005. Please let students know about this opportunity.