VSU Selected for $2.5 Million Initiative to Drive Digital Learning Innovation

Virginia State University is one of six HBCUs participating in extensive national research project 

Virginia State University has been selected as one of six Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) across the country to take part in a research and design project focused on building an integrated framework for digital learning at HBCUs. The project is a first-of-its-kind $2.5 million Digital Learning Infrastructure (DLI) initiative led by Complete College America (CCA) and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).  

As part of this unique collaboration, VSU will receive funding to research, design infrastructure, and implement tools to support student recruitment, advisement, and digital learning management. The core purpose of this initiative is to build digital support environments to promote learning and student success.  

“Virginia State University is honored to be a proud partner in this groundbreaking initiative,” said Dr. Tammy McClain-Smith, VSU Project Team Lead and Director of Distance Education and VSU Online. “It’s imperative that we consider the most effective digital infrastructure processes, strategies, and tools to ensure our students receive the full benefit of receiving an education in an ever-advancing digital world.”  

CCA designated Virginia State University and the other five HBCUs to reimagine how colleges and universities can build digital cultures to promote learning and student success. The six institutions were selected based on their track record of innovation, commitment to student success, and novel uses of technology to deliver exceptional learning and campus experiences.  

The six partnering institutions are Virginia State University, Coppin State University, Langston University, Mississippi Valley State University, Wiley College, and Xavier University.  

The VSU project team members are Dr. Tammy McClain-Smith, Dr. Berkita Bradford, Dr. Alexis Brooks-Walter, Ms. Sharon Taylor, Mr. Maurion Edwards, Ms. Iantha Malbon, and Mr. William Sawyer.