WSU Receives New Funding for Innovative Programs

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University has received grants to support the
development of critically-needed information technology workers. Funding has also been
awarded for innovative programs that improve access for students and help with their academic
The Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board has awarded grants to state
higher education institutions in an effort to help meet the demand for thousands of high-paying,
highly-skilled jobs in technology fields.
“The legislature provided opportunities for the six universities to apply for new funds to
support areas that are either critical to the state’s needs or creative and innovative and would not
be funded through normal channels,” said WSU Provost Gretchen Bataille.
Washington State University received a total of $500,000 to support its information
technology programs.
A portion of the grant money, $280,000, will be used for expansion of the WSU Computer
Science program. Matching donations totaling $549,000 in cash, equipment and software will
come from The Boeing Co., Microsoft and Alias Wavefront. The funding will enable WSU to
increase support for students and to enlarge or add laboratories.
The rest of the grant, $220,000, will be used to develop an embedded systems laboratory and
triple the number of students in this rapidly-growing field. The project has received matching
donations of $334,000 from Microsoft, The Boeing Co., Tektronix and Coastline Micro.
Another area funded by the HECB was for innovative programs in higher education. WSU
received grants totaling more than $260,000 for three programs.
$109,499 will be used for a program to make baccalaureate nursing instruction available at
home or at work through the use of e-learning, including video streaming, Web-based courses
and other technologies.
WSU also received $59,350 for development of a system for measuring students’ critical
thinking skills. The measure, known as a rubric, can be used to help faculty design and revise
assignments and teaching strategies to help students improve their critical thinking abilities.
WSU Vancouver was awarded $91,600 to create a computer-based multi-media arts
curriculum in conjunction with Clark Community College, Heritage High School and the
Vancouver School for Arts and Academics. The coordinated program will begin at the high
school level and continue through programs at Clark College and WSU Vancouver.
Bataille said the partnership funded at WSU Vancouver is consistent with the university’s
goals for technology development and closer ties with community colleges.