Felician University program, funded by $2.3M grant, provides student with iPads

Felician University will distribute over 800 iPads to undergraduate and graduate students through Project FELICE — Fostering Equity in Learning through Inclusion, Connectivity and Engagement — this fall and in fall 2024 thanks to a new, $2.3 million grant that will upgrade and expand the university’s broadband infrastructure, computing resources and online technologies, to make remote learning fully accessible.

Project FELICE also provides telehealth best practice teaching to three student cohorts in undergraduate and graduate nursing and counseling psychology.

The first distribution of iPads and broadband will take place Nov. 17 to eligible first-year students. Doctoral students will use the iPads to provide services to underperforming undergraduates enrolled in the GRIT — Goals, Resiliency, Integrity and Tenacity — program. Remaining iPads will be used for telehealth training and practicum programs to provide teletherapy to underserved clients and families.

Deanna Valente, dean of information & academic technology, stated: “I am honored to serve as the principal investigator for Project FELICE and so excited to see Wi-Fi and iPad devices deployed to students to close the digital divide. We look forward to seeing our students soar to their highest potential. Project FELICE device deployment in November will be an exciting day.”

Each iPad comes with a folio, keyboard and hotspots. iPads distributed within the psychology and nursing departments will be fully equipped with the necessary software to train students through immersive real-world simulation and telehealth training to support virtual care that is HIPAA-compliant.

In addition to Valente, other project team members include Daria Waszak, associate dean in the School of Nursing; Dan Mahoney, director of the Graduate Psychology Program; and Christopher Finch, assistant vice president of information technology. Mildred Mihlon, acting president, and Elizabeth Burke also played a critical role in the successful award of the grant.