Kentucky State University Partners with Pearson as School Introduces

Digital Course Material Scholarships for All Students


KSU will join more than 50 institutions partnering with Pearson to make course materials more accessible and affordable, positioning learners for success starting on the first day of class


NEW YORK and FRANKFORT, Ky. – Aug. 11, 2016 – Today, Pearson announced its partnership with Kentucky State University (KSU) to launch Digital Direct Access, an industry leading model which digitally delivers high-quality course materials to students. The significant cost savings of this program has enabled KSU to announce that every student will receive a scholarship covering the full cost of digital course materials, beginning in the fall 2016 semester.


KSU will join 55 institutions that have partnered with Pearson in 2016 to provide college-wide, direct access to high-quality digital course materials for their students. In addition to savings of up to 60 percent, Digital Direct Access provides learners with critical access to course materials on the first day of class and offers instructors insights into students’ learning activity through data analysis. KSU’s Digital Direct Access initiative will also provide 24/7/365 technical helpdesk support and award-winning Smarthinking online tutoring services.


“Some traditional textbooks can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 apiece. And the fact is, some students simply cannot afford to buy all the textbooks required for their course load,” said Aaron Thompson, Ph.D., interim president, Kentucky State University. “We want our students to be successful, and numerous studies have shown that if students do not have their books during the first few days of school, their success rate is seriously diminished.”


“We want to ensure that all our students have equitable access to required course materials the very first day they walk into the classroom,” said Candice Jackson, Ph.D., acting vice president for Academic Affairs, Kentucky State University. “If a student does not own a computer, not to worry. Students can choose to rent a computer for a small use fee, or the university offers free computer at convenient locations all over campus which includes, dorms, computer labs and the library.”


“Pearson is honored to partner with Kentucky State University to enable them to provide all students with free access to required course materials by the first day of class,” said Tom Malek, senior vice president of partnerships, Pearson. “KSU’s groundbreaking, student-centered strategy demonstrates a growing trend toward improving student performance and making higher education more accessible and affordable.”


KSU has a continued mission to make college education more affordable for learners. More than 1,700 students will benefit from the institution’s digital course delivery model each semester.


About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit


About Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University, building on its legacy of achievement as a historically black, liberal arts, and 1890 Land Grant University, affords access to and prepares a diverse population of traditional and non-traditional students to compete in a multifaceted, ever changing global society by providing student-centered learning while integrating teaching, research and service through high-quality undergraduate and select graduate programs. Located in Frankfort, Kentucky, KSU offers associate (two-year) degrees in three disciplines, baccalaureate (four-year) degrees in 24 disciplines, and master’s degrees in five disciplines. KSU has 129 full-time instructional faculty members and more than 1,700 students.


Credo unveils new features, interface to enhance

exploratory search, invigorate library instruction


Improvements strengthen students’ vocabulary building capabilities,

plus increase research relevancy


BOSTON, Aug. 11, 2016 – Credo, the industry leader for information literacy, critical thinking, and research solutions,  announced today it is introducing several new and updated features to its popular Credo Online Reference Service, the only publisher-neutral reference platform designed intentionally as the starting point for research.


The enhancements include a new interface designed to improve search results and a revitalized Mind Map subject-visualization tool to help students orient to their topics faster, discover background information more efficiently, and explore related concepts and keywords without becoming overwhelmed.


Credo’s improved interface now offers:


  • an entirely new, intuitively designed browsing experience;
  • quick views of research articles;
  • more ways to refine search results;
  • a Mind Map now based on concepts, not entries, and has breadcrumb trails for easy past visualization retrieval; and
  • books as search results.


“We reached out to our librarian partners as well as student users to see where we needed to address research needs in our platform,” said Ian Singer, Chief Content Officer for Credo. “Credo Online Reference Service is now a customer-designed platform due to the great feedback we received, and were able to realize in our efforts to enhance the research process.”


“The Mind Map and the new Related Searches are great ways for students to zero in on a research topic and discover keywords for further exploration,” Singer continued, “and as importantly, the new features and updates make the platform an even easier, more intuitive tool for librarians to use in their research instruction sessions.”


Credo will be offering a “walk through” of the new user interface at 11 a.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 22. To register, visit this link. (


For more information about Credo, visit


West’s Education group Applauds FCC Action Providing TCPA Clarification for Schools


Federal Communications Commission ruling on Telephone Consumer Protection Act permits more emergency and school-related calls and texts without a parent’s explicit consent  


SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif., Aug. 8, 2016 — West Corporation, a leading provider of technology-enabled communications services, today applauded Federal Communications Commission (FCC) action that grants broad exceptions for many school-related and emergency communications to parents and guardians under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).


The new ruling by the FCC gives schools clarification on TCPA restrictions that calls and texts can be made to mobile phones for purposes “closely related” to the mission of the school, if a parent has provided a phone number to that school. This provides schools more flexibility to communicate what might be considered non-emergency situations—such as teacher in-service days and school activities—in addition to situations covered by the existing TCPA exemption for emergency communications, without getting explicit permission from parents in advance for these calls or texts.

TCPA, which dates back to 1991, generally forbids calls made using automated dialing systems or a prerecorded voice to any telephone number assigned to a mobile phone without prior express consent (or opt-in). The FCC treats an SMS text message in the same way as a voice call. There has always been an exclusion from the prior express consent requirement for calls and texts made for “emergency purposes.” But the new FCC action gives schools further leeway.


“While school districts should still consult with their legal counsel to see how the FCC decision applies to them specifically, we thank the Commission for hearing school concerns and acting on them,” said Nate Brogan, senior vice president of West’s Education group. “The FCC has also reiterated the importance of continuing to honor opt-outs from parents and halt calls to reassigned numbers, and the tools embedded into our SchoolMessenger solutions provide schools with advanced capabilities to manage parent consent and preferences as a best practice in communications.”


Other key points from the new FCC ruling:

–The long-standing “emergency purpose” exemption has been clarified to also include school “calls or messages relating to weather closures, incidents of threats and/or imminent danger to the school due to fire, dangerous persons, health risks (e.g., toxic spills), and unexcused absences.”

–It remains a best practice that schools regularly confirm parent/guardian contact information, with the FCC encouraging regular updates of emergency calling lists.

–Schools still face risk if they are not sure if the mobile phone numbers they are calling or texting belong to parents, implying the need for schools to regularly reaffirm numbers from parents and to ensure reassigned numbers are not inappropriately contacted.

–Schools must still honor opt-out requests from parents at any time, even if a parent had earlier provided a contact number.


West’s Education group will host a webinar on Tuesday, August 23rd at 12 p.m. Pacific/3 p.m. Eastern to discuss these changes to TCPA and review the considerations for schools. School leaders can register for the free webinar at


In addition, West’s Education group is developing additional materials to help schools navigate the updated regulations in its TCPA Resource Center (, a web-based clearinghouse of TCPA-related materials. All of the materials in the TCPA Resource Center are available free of charge to K-12 school district leadership and staff.


TCPA-related materials provided by West are not intended to and do not provide legal advice. Schools are advised to consult with their legal counsel to best understand their options under the law.

SchoolMessenger Communicate, West’s flagship notification product for education, includes several tools to help districts manage opt-ins, opt-outs, and changing contact preferences of parents and others with whom schools regularly communicate.


About West’s Education Group

West’s Education group, part of West Corporation, is the trusted provider of SchoolMessenger solutions. Thousands of schools and other educational institutions in all 50 U.S. states and Canada depend on SchoolMessenger products and services. From notifications and websites to custom mobile apps and social media, school leaders have relied on the SchoolMessenger platform since 1999 to engage with their communities in multiple languages and on any device. To learn more about SchoolMessenger products, visit or call 888.527.5225.


Bloomz is adding major new functionality, including student-led portfolios and student behavior tracking, to its award-winning parent communication app in time for the new school year.

Today, we are happy to announce that Bloomz has made good on their promise to deliver the first of these features: Student Timelines. This new functionality allows teachers to share student work with parents. From the beginning to the end of the school year, students and teachers can upload instructional work items to build a collection of student experiences and projects—within the security of the Bloomz app.

This collection of a student’s work is then added to their individual timeline and updated instantly as it grows. Throughout the school year, parents can easily review their child’s progression in one place. The student timeline also lets the teacher assess student work as students submit items for approval—all in the familiar, easy-to-use interface of Bloomz.

You can read more details about this great new feature from Bloomz by reading this post from their blog.

Soon, Bloomz will announce its Student Behavior Tracking feature, due to be released later this month.


Renaissance Learning and ClassLink Announce Alliance for Single Sign-On Solution

Partnership paves way to faster, easier access to education providers with OneClick technology

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (August 11, 2016) – Renaissance Learning, the leader in K-12 cloud-based assessment and learning analytics, is pleased to announce a major new alliance with ClassLink, the leader in single sign-on and rostering solutions for schools. The partnership paves the way to faster, easier access to one of the most trusted education providers and offers millions of educators and students secure, OneClick access to Renaissance solutions.

ClassLink’s OneClick delivers single sign-on to online cloud-based resources, such as the Renaissance platform, and to files, whether they are stored in the cloud, on a device, or on the school network. With more than 3,000 single sign-on connectors, ClassLink has brought together more resources than all other single sign-on platforms combined.

To learn more, read the full release here.