Who We Are
The National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides leadership in using information technology to redesign learning environments to produce better learning outcomes for students at a reduced cost to the institution. NCAT is headed by Dr. Carol A. Twigg, an internationally recognized expert in the field. The NCAT staff has extensive experience in higher education as faculty members, administrators and researchers in both traditional and non-traditional higher education environments.
Building on her experience as vice president of Educom (now Educause) and founder of the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative (NLII), Dr. Twigg created the Program in Course Redesign (PCR) with the support of an $8.8 million grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. From 1999 to 2004, NCAT worked with 30 diverse two- and four-year colleges (50,000 students annually) to prove that it is possible to improve quality and reduce cost in higher education. Course redesign using information technology is key to achieving both outcomes.
The results of the PCR were exceptional. Twenty-five of thirty course redesign projects showed significant increases in student learning; the other five showed learning equivalent to traditional formats. Of the twenty-four projects that measured retention, eighteen reported a noticeable decrease in drop-failure-withdrawal rates, ranging from 10 to 20%, as well as higher course-completion rates. Most dramatically, all thirty institutions reduced their costs by 37% on average, ranging from 20% to 77%, and produced a collective annual savings of about $3 million. Other positive outcomes included better student attitudes toward the subject matter and increased student and faculty satisfaction with the new mode of instruction.
Advancing the Mission
Today, many organizations and companies offer technology-based solutions for streamlining academic and administrative systems, as well as products that enhance the educational experience. However, NCAT is the only resource recognized for translating its vision for achieving improved learning outcomes at a reduced cost into a proven track record of success. NCAT furthers its mission of creating lasting change in higher education through a number of initiatives designed to provide research-based solutions, expertise and support to educational systems interested in improving quality, increasing access, and using resources more effectively.