APUS and University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Announce $25,000 Prize for Innovation in Online Education

Share your idea.  Change the world

Charles Town, WV and Philadelphia, PA, Nov. 21, 2011 -- American Public University System (APUS) and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (PennGSE) proudly announce the 2012 American Public University System Prize for Innovation in Online Education. The newly-established APUS prize, which awards $25,000 to the individual or group business plan that best enhances distance learning in higher education, is part of the third annual 2012 Milken-PennGSE Education Business Plan Competition. 

The intent of the prize, sponsored by APUS and the Networking Education Entrepreneurs for Social Transformation (NEST), is to create new thought and structure within institutions and to support the growing demand for eLearning in higher education. All prospective entrants are encouraged to submit their concepts for consideration online at www.nestcentral.org. Submissions, due by the close of business on December 12, 2011, will undergo a rigorous assessment and selection process culminating with the live competition and announcement of the winning business plans in Philadelphia on June 19, 2012.

 “Our collective goal is to catalyze innovations in learning propelled by educational entrepreneurs,” said PennGSE Vice Dean Doug Lynch. “We hope, if you have an idea to change the world, that you will enter the competition.”

“APUS and PennGSE share a keen commitment to academic quality and to advancing learning outcomes,” said APUS President & CEO Wallace E. Boston. “We’re proud to collaborate with them on this important initiative to help accomplish those dual goals.” Dr. Boston, a 2010 graduate of PennGSE, served as a judge for the 2011 competition.

About the Milken-PennGSE Education Business Plan Competition

Launched in 2010 as a partnership between PennGSE and the Milken Family Foundation, the competition will award more than $110,000 in total funding in 2012, through the following five prizes:  

·The Milken Family Foundation First Prize ($25,000) and Second Prize ($15,000).

·The American Public University System Prize for Innovation in Online Education ($25,000).

·The Startl Prize for Open Educational Resources ($25,000).

·The Educational Services of America Prize for Innovation in the fields of Special Education and At-Risk Students ($20,000).

About Contest Rules and Timeline

Entrants are required to submit an executive summary of their business plan online by the close of business on December 12, 2011. The summary can address a wide range of educational issues and submissions are welcome from both for-profit and nonprofit institutions. Applicants should submit content that first defines a problem and the opportunity it presents; the idea or solution; and how the idea or solution will be implemented.

Entrants can be individuals or groups and all submissions are automatically considered for the Milken Family Foundation First and Second Prizes. Contestants may also select to apply for the American Public University System Prize for Innovation in Online Learning, the Startl Prize for Open Educational Resources, or the Educational Services of America Prize for Innovation in the fields of Special Education and At-Risk Students. Each prize is awarded based on a unique area of focus in education. The competition process spans the following stages: 

·Executive summaries are due by December 12, 2011.

·Semi-finalists are announced by February 3, 2012.

·Full business plans are due by March 16, 2012.

·Finalists are announced by May 4, 2012.

·The live competition takes place in Philadelphia on June 19, 2012.

For official details about eligibility, application guidelines, and more, go to www.nestcentral.org


About American Public University System
American Public University System, winner of the Sloan Consortium's Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education and first three-time recipient of Sloan's Effective Practice Award, offers more than 90 online degree programs through American Public University and American Military University. APUS's relevant curriculum, affordability and flexibility help more than 100,000 working adults worldwide pursue degrees in a diverse variety of subjects. For further information, visit www.apus.edu.

Contact Us for Media Inquiries: pr@apus.edu 

Brad Beshara
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
215-573-6455
bbeshara@gse.upenn.edu