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Baker College lands $25M grant for virtual innovation center, extended reality technologies MIBIZ FILE PHOTO: JEFF HAGE

Baker College lands $25M grant for virtual innovation center, extended reality technologies

BY Tuesday, May 11, 2021 04:27pm

OWOSSO — A $25 million grant from a California-based augmented and virtual reality solutions provider will allow Baker College to use the advanced technology across all six of its Michigan campuses and other learning centers.

This week, the Owosso-based private college with a campus in Muskegon announced that it received a five-year grant from EON Reality. The Irvine, Calif.-based tech company will provide technology, software products and services to create a virtual innovation center that is accessible by students and the public through a free app.

“Baker College has remained successful over the last century by continually adapting to the evolving educational landscape and changing needs and expectations of our students,” Baker College Provost Jill Langen said in a statement. “Incorporating augmented reality into our curriculum, and making it accessible to every single student with a cell phone or laptop, is the next step in our evolution.”

Through the virtual innovation center, students can leverage immersive learning environments through both extended and augmented realities. The technology will allow them to explore immersive environments and manipulate digital 3D objects, making it possible to virtually assemble and disassemble components.

The roll out of the virtual innovation center begins in the fall of 2021. The health sciences and information technology degree programs will be two of the first to use its resources in addition to a number of general education classes.

The school intends to use the grant to grow its extended reality (XR) capabilities into the future, eventually using it in every degree program.

“The trends in higher education all point to less passive learning models and more individualized, technology-driven experiences,” Langen said. “Through our grant and partnership with EON Reality, we’re making sure Baker College is at the forefront of what’s ahead.”

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