Southern University's Open Library for Education.


I am very delighted to welcome you to New Orleans, the birth city of Jazz, for the OLC/MERLOT INNOVATE 2017 conference, as we celebrate the launching of a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Summit on Affordable Learning and Quality Online program. I wanted first to thank the Southern University System (SUS) leadership, the California State University MERLOT and the OLC organizations for their dedication in supporting and enabling this first Summit. We would not be able to launch without the dedication and engagement of my colleagues, eLearning practitioners, members of the Summit Steering Committee composed of faculty and leadership from many HBCUs, including the four Louisiana HBCUs, Xavier University of Louisiana, Dillard University, Grambling State University and the Southern University System (SUS). We understood during our recurring meeting that a HBCU Summit was long overdue and that we could not find better host than INNOVATE, an excellent conference dedicated to online learning practitioners and institutional transformations.

Supporting Online Strategies

Research on the current state of online education at HBCUs boldly claim that HBCUs are still lagging behind their national counterparts in the adoption of online learning. As a result, proponents of equal access to distributed education and quality instruction may lead us to believe that HBCUs are neglecting the needs of their unique student populations and that online education is not considered as potential strategic asset. On the contrary, closer examination of student success at HBCUs shows that they are indeed addressing the needs of their students by introducing online programs at a modest pace. HBCUs have a lot to share and leveraging affordable learning solution for developing quality online programs at a lower cost could be an avenue for growing programs, increasing college access and success for minority students.

It is critical to have a national forum enabling these institutions sharing similar goals, challenges and interests, to network, share best practices related to their communities and build eLearning capacity. I am hoping that the INNOVATE HBCU Summit will help us fill this void.

Addressing HBCU Priorities

The HBCU Summit is a professional forum for practitioners and campuses leadership from HBCUs in the United States and partnering Higher Education Institutions in Africa (HEIA) to leverage current innovative technologies. HBCUs and HEIA participants will develop plans that they will be able to deploy within their own institutions, customized to the needs and goals of their own communities. The 2017 summit focuses particularly on the themes of increasing college access and success through the use of affordable learning solution and delivering quality online programs. We hope to have you join us in New Orleans. Come celebrate with us.

Prof. Moustapha Diack
Chair, HBCU Summit.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Robbie Melton is Associate Vice Chancellor of Mobilization & Emerging Technology Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) - Throughout her forty years in the field of education, Dr. Melton has received numerous teaching and technology awards and acclaims. Some of the most recent include: 2014 Workshop Keynote for The United Nations Mobile Education Conference (UNESCO) Paris, France and Panel Keynoter at the Mobile Learning International Conference, Madrid, Spain, 2013 Apple Distinguished Educator, 2012 Top Fifty Technology Innovation Educator from the Center for Digital Education and Converge, 2012 International ELES4-Africa Educator Technologist, WCET WOW Education Technology Award, Tennessee Board of Regents -- 2011 Catalyst Leadership Award, 2010 IMS Global Learning Leadership, 2010 MERLOT Educational Leadership Higher Education System Level, among many others.

What is the Internet of Things, and how can it help teachers and learners become more successful?

Dr. Robert Blaine is the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and CyberLearning at Jackson State University. Blaine serves as Director of GEAR (Global Education through Analytical Reasoning), Artistic Director of the Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra, host of the television program, “Music Art” broadcast on the COLOURS Network in Jackson, Mississippi, and Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at Jackson State. Technology infused learning environments are now expected but designing them is not a. Robert Blaine explains this idea through an engaging story.

Program Leads

Moustapha Diak
Southern University in Baton Rouge (SUBR)

Ray Belton
Southern University and A&M College

Gerry Hanley
California State University

Conference Themes

Affordable Learning Solution, AL$: Open Education Resources (OER) – based Teaching and Learning Environment that empower educational institution to design learning environment at lower cost and thereby enhancing college affordability, student access and success.

Quality Online Program: Using the right learning standards and institutional best practices to deploy quality online learning program – Showcasing the OLC Score Card for institutional adoption.

Announcing the HBCU Summit:

HBCU SUMMIT INNOVATE 2017: NEW ORLEANS, APRIL 5-7, 2017 from Moustapha Diack on Vimeo.

Steering Committee

Join the steering committee conversation at MERLOT Voices.

Moustapha Diack Southern University in Baton Rouge (SUBR)
Carlos Thomas Southern University in Baton Rouge (SUBR)
Francesca William Southern University in Baton Rouge (SUBR)
Dawn VENTRESS Kight Southern University in Baton Rouge (SUBR)
Cynthia Bryant Southern University in Baton Rouge (SUBR)
Sundée Winder Louisiana Dept. Public Health||Tulane University
John Williams Prairie View A&M University
Janue Johnson Seaton Hampton University
Hamilton Eldrie Grambling State University
Rona Tyger Dillard University
Lynette Ralph Xavier University
Marcus Cox Xavier University
Colita Fairfax Norfolk State University
Alassane Diop Senegal Virtual University - SENEGAL
Moussa Lo Senegal Virtual University - SENEGAL
Arletha McSwain Bethune Cookman University
Coral Rojas University Central Florida
Veronica McEachin Southern University in Shreveport
Shelia Wood Southern University at New Orleans
Gerry Hanley California State University (CSU)


Practitioners Summit for Advancing Affordable Learning Solutions and Quality Online Education for HBCUs at the OLC/MERLOT INNOVATE Conference on April 5-7, 2017

Dr. Ray Belton,
President Chancellor
Southern University System of Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana – USA

Pr. Marie Teuw Niane
Ministry for Higher Education and Research
Republic of Senegal, West Africa

Dr. Christopher Brown
Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs & Provost
Southern University System & Southern University Baton Rouge, Louisiana – USA

Dr. Robbie Melton,
Associate Vice Chancellor of Mobilization Emerging Technology
Tennessee Board of Regents

Pr. Lamine Gueye,
President and Rector
University of Bambey, Senegal, West Africa

Dr. Gabriel Fagbeyiro,
Associate Vice President for Information Technology & Chief Information Officer

Dr. Robert Blaine
Associate Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
Dean of Undergraduate Study for Cyber learning
Jackson State University

Dr. Robert Ford, CEO
DRF Industries, LLC
5215 Palmer Street, Houston, TX 77004

HBCU Affiliates

There are 106 HBCU affiliates in the United States. Click here to see a list.

Summit Program and Registration

  1. See the program and register for the Summit.
  2. Download the Summit flyer (PDF) and share it with your colleagues.
  3. See our suggestions for dining while attending the Summit.

ADD Free eTextbooks You're Using or Created Into MERLOT

Are you using free eTextbooks in your teaching or your learning? Have you created free eTextbooks? We invite you to catalog these resources in MERLOT. Your colleagues and students around the world will thank you!


First: Become a member of MERLOT (It will take about 2 minutes and it’s FREE).

Second: Fill out the online form to Contribute a Material. (It will take about 4 minutes the first time and step-by-step instructions for contributing materials (PDF) to MERLOT are available).


Enter key words below to search the SkillsCommons library for Free Workforce Development OER


Enter key words below to use MERLOT's SMART Search to find free and open educational resources in MERLOT, over 60 other free libraries, and the web.

Advanced Search MERLOT Materials


Enter the ISBN of a book below to find related FREE eTextbooks.