Dr. Ahrash Bissell was recently named President of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE), the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization behind The NROC Project (NROC), an initiative focused on developing open and low-cost learning technologies designed to improve student access and equity.
Dr. Bissell joins the firm’s executive leadership team at a critical juncture in the organization’s history. In 2017, NROC and ACT® announced a strategic partnership designed to dramatically increase the number of college-going students prepared for postsecondary math and English. April 1, 2018, this collaboration yielded ACT CollegeReady™, a student success tool that identifies student knowledge and skill gaps in math and English and creates a personalized learning path that empowers learners to address their individual academic needs and avoid remediation.
“As a developer of innovative educational technology, we needed a respected partner to help us get our work in front of a larger fraction of the country’s students. Dr. Bissell was instrumental in forging our mission-centered relationship with ACT, and he deftly managed the development of the ACT CollegeReady product. Collaborating with our institutional members has enabled us to envision and create cutting-edge solutions for improving student success. Our new partnership with ACT now gives us the ability to offer those solutions to every student in the U.S. that can benefit. There is no more capable steward of this aim than Dr. Bissell,” said Dr. Gary Lopez, MITE Chief Executive Officer.
Dr. Bissell has long been interested in academic transitions that too often leave marginalized and otherwise vulnerable students behind. “I was originally drawn to NROC’s commitment to creating tangible solutions to long-standing challenges in education, especially the thorny problems that exacerbate existing inequities. With NROC, I am looking forward to consistently pushing the boundaries of new ideas – in open education, adaptive assessment, and personalized learning – while setting priorities based on our mission to develop and sustain technologies that clear pathways to opportunity for every student,” Dr. Bissell said. Before joining The NROC Project, he led Creative Commons’ global ccLearn project and served as a STEM-education specialist at Duke University’s Academic Resource Center.