Microsoft Awards $12 Million In Grants To Help Colleges And Universities Keep Pace With Technology

REDMOND, Wash., April 1, 1997 — More than $12.2 million in software licenses were awarded to 121 two- and-four year colleges and universities across the U.S. as part of the 1997 Instructional Grant Program, Microsoft Corporation announced today. The annual grant program helps computer science, engineering and business departments equip their labs with the latest Internet and software development tools, and arms students with the cutting-edge technology needed to develop skills for success in the workplace.

Microsoft sponsors the Instructional Grant Program to reward colleges and universities for innovative uses of technology in the computer science, engineering and information systems curricula. Last year more than $13 million in software licenses was awarded to grant recipients, enriching programs at over 200 higher education institutions. These competitive grants – $5,000 to $100,000 in software licenses per school – offer college and university departments Microsoft®
Visual Development Tools, languages, information systems, Internet and desktop application software licenses in exchange for their faculty members’ posting current curriculum materials on the Academic Cooperative Web site (http://academicoop.isu.edu ) .

This Web site is a rich curriculum resource, visited each week by thousands of educators from around the world. Faculty members using the site discover how Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich., is integrating computer skills into math and statistics courses, giving students an edge with Detroit automakers; or investigate the computer science program at Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Conn., where students are learning the latest Web technology through an Internet application and management class designed for both technology experts and novices.

“Microsoft is committed to helping colleges and universities keep their computer science and information technology courses up-to-date so they can expose their students to the Internet and Windows® -based development tools they’ll find in the workplace,”
said Susanne Peterson, academic program manager for Microsoft.
“Through the Instructional Grant Program, we help them confront the challenges of integrating the most current technology into the curriculum.”

Since its launch in 1995, the Instructional Grant program has awarded more than $20 million in software licenses for Microsoft development tools, applications software and operating systems to 345 colleges and universities. Schools submit grant applications at three levels – level one: course development, level two: team builder/infrastructure and level three: professional development. Software licenses awarded include the Visual Basic® Professional Edition programming system, Visual C++®
Professional Edition development system, Visual FoxPro
™
Professional Edition database, Visual J++
™
Professional Edition development software, Office 97 Developer Edition, Visual SourceSafe
™
version control system, Visual InterDev
™Professional Edition web development system, Windows 95 and Windows NT®
Workstation operating systems.

At the University of Maryland School of Business in College Park, a 1997 grant recipient, more than 300 undergraduate students and 200 graduate students are information technology majors, studying systems analysis and design courses to prepare them for corporate information technology positions. Dr. George Marakas, assistant professor of Information Systems at the university, said new graduates frequently obtain middle management positions because they are skilled at using Microsoft networking products like the Windows NT operating system.

“Our students expect to enter the workforce and be up-to-speed on the technology their companies use,”
said Marakas.
“Microsoft products are an industry standard. We even set an example for our students by running the business school’s network on Windows NT Server.”

In addition, the College of Business shares its knowledge of and access to Microsoft products with other university departments.
“We’re pleased to let faculty members from other departments in the business school try out this state-of-the-art software so they can make decisions to help bring current technology into their classrooms,”
added Marakas.

The Instructional Grant Program’s Web site links to syllabi and other materials for 800 different courses on computer science, engineering, information systems, math and sciences from more than 300 two-and four-year colleges and universities. The courses posted on the Web site use Microsoft language and database products to teach all levels of programming skills and software development. Educators worldwide can use these online resources to integrate state-of-the-art technology into their courses, supplementing textbooks that often can’t keep up with rapid advances in technology.

After receiving Microsoft Instructional Grants in 1995 and 1996, the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., the largest single-campus community college in the nation, developed several levels of classes in Visual C++, Windows NT, Visual Basic and Office Professional. The College of DuPage serves a growing number of professionals who return to train for new careers or update programming skills.

“Our students want courses that include the software they use on the job,”
said Diane Zak, professor of computer science.
“The Microsoft Instructional Grant Program provided us with the software and curriculum resources to offer courses that will help them advance their careers.”

Application information for the 1998 Microsoft Instructional Grant Program is available at the Academic Cooperative Web site at (http://academicoop.isu.edu) . The 1998 application process begins late this spring. Microsoft is committed to providing practical solutions to the complex challenges that college and university computer science, engineering and information systems departments face in implementing and integrating technology.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows, Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual SourceSafe, Windows NT, Visual J++, Visual InterDev and Visual FoxPro are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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For more information, press only:

Lisa Collins, Marcy Monyek and Associates, 312-263-2135, lisacollins@MSN.com

Joelle McGinnis, Marcy Monyek and Associates, 312-263-2135, joellem@MSN.com

1997 Microsoft Instructional Grant Recipients

New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, N.J.

New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, N.M.

Southwestern Technical College, Granite Falls, Minn.