PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State University has been selected as one of six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the county to take part in a research and design project that will focus on building an integrated framework for digital learning at HBCUs.

The $2.5 million Digital Learning Infrastructure (DLI) is a first-of-its-kind initiative led by Complete College America (CCA) and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

VSU will receive funding to research, design infrastructure and implement tools to support student recruitment, advisement and digital learning management.

The purpose of the project is to help build digital support environments that promote learning and student success, according to a release by VSU.

“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.” 

The six HBCUs 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.