AT and T Foundation Presents $350,000 to JSU in Support of CORE


On Thursday, May 15, representatives of the AT&T Foundation, state legislators and Jacksonville State University gathered on the JSU campus for AT&T Foundation’s presentation of a $350,000 contribution to the university in support of its Collaborative Regional Education (CORE) model program. After the presentation at Bibb Graves Hall, the delegation visited nearby Ramona Wood Building to meet CORE teachers, who were on campus to receive technology and instruction.

Fred McCallum, AT&T Alabama State President, made the presentation for the AT&T Foundation. Also in attendance were State Senator Gerald Dial and State Representative K.L. Brown, along with executive leadership from AT&T and the university.

A component of JSU’s Institute for Research and Collaboration, CORE is an established, successful program that brings technology to high-need, rural classrooms with the goal of improving college and work readiness among 8th-12th grade students.  The CORE model integrates technology in classrooms and provides teachers with professional development that prepares them to use technology as a tool to support individualized learning. Other components include partnership building, classroom support, dual enrollment scholarships (CORE Scholars) and change management. 

CORE began in 2010 as a partnership between Jacksonville State University and Piedmont City Schools. Armed with the knowledge that the future success of students required 21st    Century skills as well as a new approach to teacher education, the educational institutions were transforming classrooms at all levels from the inside out. From this nucleus grew a partnership of 18 public school systems and three private school systems representing 72,600 Alabama students.  CORE is poised for significant growth during the next five years, as it has attracted very enthusiastic national partners and was recently awarded a $11.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s highly competitive Investing in Innovation (i3) program. The i3 grant will build upon what has already been established for CORE, with the long-term goal of implementing the program nationwide. 

“AT&T is proud to support JSU as the university expands student learning and technology capabilities in rural classrooms here in Alabama,” said Fred McCallum, president, AT&T Alabama.  “Working together, we can increase college and career readiness of high school students throughout the state and put them on a path to future success.”

On behalf of JSU, CORE staff, and local, state and national partners, Dr. Alicia Simmons, executive director for Planning and Research/Institute for Research and Collaboration and project director of the CORE i3 grant, thanked the AT&T Foundation for the generous contribution to the CORE i3 initiative.

 “The enthusiasm for the Collaborative Regional Education (CORE) initiative is infectious and we welcome AT&T as a generous benefactor that understands the importance of working together to better prepare our students for college and career,” said Dr. Simmons. “This gift will be put to good use as we learn from each other through professional development, teacher support and technology.”

State Senator Gerald Dial added, “With an increasingly global economy, it is crucial that we make sure our students have access to the technologies that will allow them to compete. I’m excited to see this program going strong right here at home.”      

State Representative K.L. Brown, who lives in Jacksonville, added, “I’m so proud to see our hometown university making a difference in the lives of Alabama students. This type of program will make a real difference in the future of our state.”

To learn more about CORE, visit

Photo: Fred McCallum, AT&T Alabama President (front row center), presents a check for $350,000 to Dr. Alicia Simmons, executive director, JSU Office of Planning and Research/Institute for Research and Collaboration; and Dr. Bill Meehan, JSU president; while State Rep. K.L. Brown (front row, left) and State Senator Gerald Dial (front row, right) look on. Also in attendance were (second row, from left) Wayne Hutchens, executive director of Regulatory for AT&T; Dr. Charles Lewis, JSU vice president for University Advancement; Vinson Houston, JSU vice president for Information Technology; Allyson Barker, JSU acting vice president for Administrative and Business Affairs; and Glyn Agnew, regional director of Legislative and External Affairs for AT&T. Third row, from left: Michey Harbin, executive director, Legislative and External Affairs for AT&T; Dr. Joe Delap, JSU vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies; Tony Bennett, director, JSU Internal Audit and External Funds Compliance; Don Killingsworth, JSU director of Government Relations. Fourth row: Cleo Washington, director of Legislative Affairs for AT&T; Dr. Tim King, JSU associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)