Paul Smith's College Selected for National Program to Develop Experimental Learning Initiatives

PAUL SMITHS, NY (03/28/2014)(readMedia)-- Paul Smith's College is known for standing apart from traditional higher-education institutions, by leading the way in hands-on, experiential learning programs that propel students toward the college's 90 percent job-placement rate. Now, Paul Smith's is proud to announce that the four-year private college has been distinctively selected to participate in a national program to develop innovative, competency-based education (CBE) through the 2014 Breakthrough Models Incubator program of the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC).

"We are truly honored to have been chosen for this pioneering opportunity, as we pride ourselves for leading the way in student support and experiential learning initiatives," says President John W. Mills. "We believe that anyone with the desire to achieve a college degree should have the opportunity to succeed, and the 2014 Breakthrough Models Incubator program will reinforce our goal of involving students in their own learning in ways that lead to success in college and the world of work."

Paul Smith's College is one of nine colleges and universities across the United States to be chosen for the CBE program. Participating schools receive a $50,000 stipend for travel to incubator events and planning expenses to accelerate educational innovation, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Participation in the 2014 Breakthrough Models Incubator will support Paul Smith's College in its work to develop competency-based programs designed for traditional students who are most likely to succeed in a college environment that emphasizes hands-on experiences and learning by doing. The goals are to make college accessible to more students, provide them with individualized support from day one through graduation and give them what it takes to launch a rewarding career.

"Paul Smith's College, the only four-year college of the Adirondacks, is a school of opportunity. From its first days in the 1940s, the Paul Smith's College curriculum has been career-oriented. Experiential education is nothing new to us. Theory and practice go hand-in-hand. Learning by doing is in our DNA," explains Mills.

About Paul Smith's College: Paul Smith's College was founded in 1946 and is the only four-year college in the Adirondacks. The college provides an experiential learning environment, with an interdisciplinary core curriculum and undergraduate programs in forestry, natural resources and recreation; hospitality, resort and culinary management; and the sciences, liberal arts, and business. Paul Smith's College community, residing in the Adirondack Park, promotes economic, social and environmental sustainability. For more information please visit

Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) accelerates educational innovation through applied technology to dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States. This multi-year program provides investment capital to expand the use of proven and emerging learning technologies, collects and shares evidence of what works, and fosters innovation and adoption of solutions. NGLC is managed by EDUCAUSE in partnership with the League for Innovation in the Community College, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is generously funding team participation in the Incubator.