Penn State Intercom......March 21, 2002

University launches
Project MELD with
diversity grant

A new project to help promote cultural diversity awareness on campus has received a two-year, $250,000 grant from AT&T Foundation.

Project MELD -- Multicultural Enhanced Learning for Diversity, will be managed by the Center for Education Technology Services. It will offer a digital library of information, materials and resources on diversity that can be used by faculty on all University campuses. This initiative will augment the University's drive for diversity awareness, particularly among new undergraduate students, and help meet a Faculty Senate mandate for a greater focus on international and multicultural understanding on campus.

In phase one, to be implemented this year, Project MELD will create a pool of online resources, including curricular models; exemplary syllabi, activities, assignments and assessments; course bibliographies, problem sets and simulations; information about experiential learning and active learning elements; international exchanges and multicultural experiences; scholarship on gender/ethnicity and academic disciplines; and classroom climate and culture.

The Center for Education Technology Services will assist faculty in accessing and integrating the resources into coursework. To more quickly infuse diversity materials into the curriculum, the center will work with clusters of courses and teams of faculty, rather than individual courses.

Next year in phase two, Project MELD will expand its support by developing and delivering a tutorial for faculty on how to use the resources to create an inclusive classroom climate. The tutorial will include both face-to-face and online training. In early 2004, the University plans to hold a conference on diversity-enhanced curricula for universities belonging to the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the academic consortium of the Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago.