About Us


The Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation founded in 2003. The cornerstone project of MITE is The NROC Project, which stands for Networked, Resources, Open, College & Career. The NROC Project is a community-guided effort focused on new models of digital content development, distribution, and use. NROC has been funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and by NROC member institutions nationwide. The NROC membership is united by a belief in open and equal access to high-quality education and the power of media to personalize learning.

Some of the notable accomplishments of The NROC Project are:

  • A membership community of more than 135 U.S. academic institutions (including 21 state DOE’s/virtual schools) representing more than 6 million students, that guide the project direction, utilize the project content and applications, and support the project financially through membership fees. NROCnetwork.org
  • Algebra 1, a two-semester course developed for first-time algebra students of all ability levels. The program introduces learners to mathematics concepts, procedures, mathematical reasoning, and critical thinking.
  • NROC Developmental Math, a course developed for students striving to meet basic college entrance requirements. The adaptive pre-assessment personalizes a learner’s path through Arithmetic, Beginning and Intermediate Algebra, and Statistics, Geometry, and Trigonometry topics.
  • NROC English, a course developed for students striving to meet basic college entrance requirements. The integrated curriculum, spanning reading comprehension, writing, vocabulary building, and grammar skills, allows students to practice strategies for reading and writing effectively.
  • HippoCampus, is a curated repository of nearly 6,000 multimedia learning objects from NROC and other respected providers, including Khan Academy, PhET, and NOAA.
  • EdReady, is a math and English readiness system that employs a low-stakes knowledge inventory to personalize a learner’s path to subject mastery within the context of a specific educational goal.
  • A self-sustaining revenue model that is on track for making The NROC Project breakeven for all operating costs and able to pursue its mission in perpetuity.


Gary Lopez

Gary Lopez is the founder and CEO of Monterey Institute for Technology and Education. He has also served as the President and CEO of NETg, a technology-based corporate training company with facilities in 30 countries, and was the Founder and President of Archipelago, a developer of media products for many of the largest U.S. educational publishers. Gary began his career as a lecturer in the Biology Department at University of California, San Diego and a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Dr. Ahrash Bissell, President of MITE

Ahrash Bissell

Ahrash Bissell is the President of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education. He has been part of the organization since 2010, with most of his focus on the design, development, and strategic impact of EdReady as a key part of MITE’s pursuit of mission. Before joining MITE, he led Creative Commons’ global ccLearn project and served as a STEM-education specialist at Duke University’s Academic Resource Center. He has a doctorate in evolutionary biology from the University of Oregon.

Nancy Cook

Nancy Cook has served as the Director of Operations of MITE since its founding in 2003. She brings to MITE broad operational experience having worked in a number of diverse organizations, including Texas A&M University, CTB/McGraw-Hill, Inflection Media, and Thomson NETg. Nancy has a strong financial management background and a distinguished history of bringing projects in under budget. Her knowledge and experience in academia, technology, television production and manufacturing make her uniquely qualified to manage complex operations.


We are grateful to have our important projects supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the sustaining institutional members of The NROC Project.