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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Joins National 'Sloan Semester' to Offer 1,000 Online Courses in Eight Weeks to Hurricane-Displaced Students, Activated National Guard Troops

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University, in cooperation with the Southern Regional Education Board, The Sloan Consortium and 200 institutions of higher education, is offering a tuition-free, eight-week semester with over 1,000 online courses beginning Monday, Oct. 10 to assist students displaced by recent hurricane evacuations.

Made possible by a $1.1 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to help defray costs and pay faculty stipends, the range of courses includes community college, university and graduate level regardless of academic discipline. The SREB/Sloan course catalog is posted at

"Twenty-seven FGCU faculty submitted 46 online courses as possible offerings for displaced Katrina students through the Sloan funded eight-week semester," dean of Instructional Technology and Broadcast Services Kathleen Davey said.

"Each institution was asked to first submit only 10 courses. The student demand will then be used to gauge whether additional courses should be considered."

More than 1,000 students have requested courses by signing up for the "Sloan Semester." Registration began Sept. 19 at Tuition and fees, except for books, is free for students from institutions impacted by Hurricane Katrina and students serving in the National Guard whose studies were interrupted by being called to active duty in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The accelerated term, which ends Jan. 6, is designed so students can return to their home institutions when normal operations resume in spring 2006. All courses carry degree credit from regionally accredited colleges and universities and will transfer back to the student's home institution.

Support is also being offered to institutions that are not directly impacted by the hurricane but are struggling to meet the needs of students who have relocated to their campuses. "If a student can't get a full load or if their host doesn't offer a specific course, Sloan Semester is a great resource," program director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Frank Mayadas said.

The SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

The Sloan Consortium is the nation's largest association of institutions and organizations committed to quality online education. It is administered through Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Mass., and Babson College in Babson Park, Mass.

For more information, media representatives should contact Davey at (239) 590-7072.

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