U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grants are providing $2,483,817 for the Commonwealth to provide distance learning services for rural areas.
The Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants provide rural communities with advanced telecommunications technology. The funding will provide 197,010 Virginia students with the technology they need to take advantage of education opportunities through local colleges and universities.
“Over the past several years, we have seen the tremendous capabilities of distance learning to extend opportunities to students that have previously been limited by their geography,” said Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia. “This funding will provide 197,010 Virginia students with the technology and infrastructure they need to continue taking advantage of distance learning.”
The funding is broken down as follows:
- $952,388 for Germanna Community College in order to equip 10 locations throughout Spotsylvania, Stafford, Orange, Culpeper, Wise, Page and Madison counties with video conferencing equipment. Instructors at Germanna Community College will use that technology to deliver mental health and healthcare educational courses to benefit 5,372 students;
- $740,793 for Lee County School District in order to equip 12 locations throughout Lee County with interactive teleconferencing equipment. Instructors at Lee County Public Schools will use that technology to deliver instructional resources, professional development courses and mental health services to benefit 5,545 students;
- $475,122 for Southside Virginia Community College in order to equip six locations throughout Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Charlotte, Nottoway and Greensville counties with a synchronous interactive video conferencing system. Instructors at Southside Virginia Community College will use that technology to deliver nursing and emergency management services simulation labs, and shared college courses to benefit 2,805 students; and
- $315,5134 for Virginia State University in order to equip 15 locations throughout Petersburg, Roanoke, Prince George, Sussex, Dinwiddie, Henry, Southampton, Franklin, Halifax, Louisa, Brunswick, Greensville and Mecklenburg counties with integrated interactive teaching rooms at the college sites and interactive digital white boards at the high school sites. Instructors at Virginia State University will use that technology to deliver dual credit college courses to benefit 183,288 students.