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Grant Supports Effort to Enhance
Students' Information Literacy Skills

Posted November 2, 2001

HOLLAND -- An effort to help students at Hope College learn to use information technology more effectively has received support from the SBC Ameritech Partnership Awards for Independent Colleges program.

Hope is one of five Michigan colleges or universities to receive one of the $10,000 awards for 2001. The college's project will link members of the English and library faculty in developing ways to help students in the college's first-year composition courses learn how to find and use appropriate information technology in research and writing.

Hope schedules about 37 sections of its first-year composition course, English 113, each year. About 20 members of the English faculty and the college's five teaching librarians work with the course, which enrolls nearly all of Hope's 700-plus freshmen.

The course includes instruction in using the resources available through the college's Van Wylen Library. Through the grant, members of the English and library faculties involved in English 113 will meet during the spring and summer to consider how to effectively incorporate information technology--such as electronic databases, web- based finding aids, electronic journals and electronic books--in the college's information literacy program. Faculty will be collaboratively seeking ways to help students find and use appropriate information technology in research and writing.

The results of their efforts will go into effect beginning with the fall, 2002, semester.

The primary authors of the grant proposal were Kelly Jacobsma, librarian with the rank of associate professor and head of public services at the library, and Barbara Mezeske, adjunct associate professor of English. Others on the planning committee for the program are Priscilla Atkins, reference librarian with the rank of associate professor; Anthony Guardado, reference librarian with the rank of assistant professor; and Dr. David Klooster, associate professor of English.

The SBC Ameritech Partnership Awards program encourages the innovative use of technology in higher education at private colleges and universities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. All accredited, degree-seeking, four-year liberal arts institutions that are members of the Midwest Partnership of Independent Colleges were eligible to apply.

SBC Ameritech awarded five $10,000 grants in each of the five Midwest states. In addition to Hope, the institutions in Michigan to receive awards were Calvin College in Grand Rapids; Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids; Spring Arbor University; and the University of Detroit Mercy.

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