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New First-Time Hybrid Interactive SMART Classroom Coming Soon

November 29, 2020

Bank of America Awards Technology Grant to Paine College -- New Hybrid Interactive SMART Classroom on the Horizon

AUGUSTA, GA....Paine College's innovative efforts to support advanced learning received additional support today with a grant from Bank of America. Paine College, a private historically Black College has a 139-year history of creating opportunities and developing a culture of success for its students.

During the recent pandemic, Paine College had to change how it delivered instruction in the classroom, by utilizing Blackboard Collaborate for virtual instruction. This grant will allow the College to integrate new Hybrid Interactive SMART technology with Blackboard Collaborate to produce a more stimulating and engaging learning experience that will impact retention. The Hybrid Interactive SMART (Hi-SMART) Classroom will offer high quality audio and video from SMART camera technology, allowing professors to see their entire class in detail. Professors will be able to read facial cues and assess student engagement. This technology infrastructure will also be utilized for virtual recruitment, tutoring, career counseling and development.

"We are pleased to be working with Bank of America to facilitate technology that will heighten instruction and student experiences in the classroom," said Dr. Cheryl Evans Jones, President of Paine College. "The first of its kind at Paine, the Hi-SMART Classroom will help to improve student retention and success."

The $65,000 grant is part of the bank's $1 billion, four-year commitment of additional support to help local communities address economic and racial inequality accelerated by the pandemic.

"Paine College is instrumental for workforce development efforts in the Augusta community," said Ora Parish, Augusta market president for Bank of America. "Our partnership will help expand their educational support resources for job training and career success."

"As students become more technologically savvy, it will become easier for them to embrace instruction delivered through Hi-SMART technology. This technology will also advance curriculum, facilitate faculty development, and create opportunities for students to explore," commented Helene Carter, VP of Institutional Advancement.

For more information, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (706) 821-8323, or via email:

About Paine College, Augusta, Georgia Paine College, founded in 1882 by the Black and White leadership of the Methodist Church, is a private Historically Black College and University (HBCU) steeped in the tenets of Methodism that provides a liberal arts education of the highest quality. The College emphasizes academic excellence, ethical and spiritual values, social responsibility, and personal development to prepare spiritually centered men and women for positions of leadership and service. Paine College, voted among Best Christian Colleges and Universities in Georgia (2020-2021) by EdSmart, is accredited by Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) to award Baccalaureate degrees.

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