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Active Learning Classroom Initiative

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There are more than 60 classrooms, laboratories, and academic and meeting spaces on Albright College’s campus in Reading, Pa. Though some have been updated, many of our classrooms are set up in the old lecture-style model. Peeling carpet, dingy paint and windows, poor lighting, and bolted down or otherwise immovable furniture make it difficult for faculty to teach the way today’s students learn best, through discussion-based and problem-based learning approaches.

photo of studentsThe Active-Learning CLASSROOM Initiative seeks support to:

  • Target the renovation of 10 classrooms in Teel Hall, Masters Hall, Alumni Hall and Center for the Arts.
  • Create a Learning Space Renovation Endowed Fund to ensure there are funds to continually update learning spaces at Albright College.
  • Engage faculty members in the decision-making process to determine which classrooms will have the biggest impact on student learning.

Why engage faculty in the decision-making process?

This strategy has several advantages:

  • It engages faculty directly in thinking about the learning environment, and how they might be responsible for designing a renovation.
  • It visibly offers the opportunity to enhance the teaching and learning environment for faculty and students—and environment matters.
  • It catalyzes conversations among faculty that would begin to engage their creative energies and demonstrate publicly that such energies can lead to productive outcomes.
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Each gift would fund one faculty-driven proposal for classroom transformation as follows:

$20,000 Offers faculty the option to complete a much-needed revitalization of the learning space including upgrades to walls, ceiling, window treatments, lighting, flooring and active-learning furniture

$35,000 Offers faculty the additional option to update technology to support pedagogical goals and student engagement with more elaborate active-learning furniture

$50,000 Offers maximum flexibility to faculty by providing the option for more innovative classroom technology, additional active-learning furniture, or larger classroom transformation.

photo of professor and studentsHow will each gift be used?

80% of each gift will be placed in The Albright Fund for Classroom Innovation and Technology for immediate transformation.

20% of each gift will be placed in a Learning Space Renovation Endowed Fund established with the purpose of renovating Albright College’s learning spaces for future generations.

Timeline for Transforming Active-learning Classrooms

A renovation will move forward once all funds have been received. Each fall semester, faculty will be asked to submit proposals for transforming a classroom into an active-learning classroom based upon the amount of funding available. The classroom  transformation will be considered as part of the College’s capital budget approval process. After the board of trustees approves the capital budget in May, the work on the classroom will commence.