DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – More than 40 Iowa colleges and universities have been awarded nearly $4.4 million to increase internet connectivity for students in the 2020-21 school year.
More than $26 million comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds
and the Iowa Department of Education, as part of the federal CARES act. Colleges and universities, including some in Siouxland, will be able to use the money to make sure students have access to the necessary technology for online and remote learning for the school year.
“Expanding virtual education delivery methods and ensuring students have the technology needed to access them are some of the new challenges our higher education institutions are facing due to the pandemic,” said Ann Lebo, director of the Iowa Department of Education. “These awards will enable colleges and universities to seek reimbursements for investments made to increase access, whether that be devices and software needed for virtual education or hotspots and other ways to increase internet access.”
Among the 43 institutions that received funding were 9 in Siouxland, including Northwest Iowa Community College, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College, Briar Cliff, Buena Vista University, Dordt University, Morningside College, Northwestern College, and St Luke’s College.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds echoed Lebo, saying that colleges and universities providing learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom is critical.
“The resources announced today will go directly to colleges and universities assisting students who are learning through online and remote options because of the pandemic. I am grateful to Iowa’s colleges and universities for the vital role they play in strengthening our workforce, removing barriers to success, and helping Iowans find successful careers right here in our state,” Reynolds said.
Each college and university submitted an application indicating how it would use the funds to increase connectivity for students, and allocations were based on the financial need of undergraduate students at each college and university, as determined by the number of students who receive federal Pell grants.
In addition, $1.5 million in GEER funds will be available for professional development to support effective online and remote instruction at Iowa’s colleges and universities. Applicants have until Dec. 11 to apply. More information is available on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.
Below is the full list of colleges and universities that received funding and the amount they received.
- Iowa State University – $547,687.78
- University of Iowa – $410,190.44
- University of Northern Iowa – $233,992.68
- Briar Cliff University – $38,274.21
- Buena Vista University – $74,673.07
- Central College – $29,664.65
- Clarke University – $23,441.89
- Coe College – $38,785.67
- Cornell College – $23,015.67
- Dordt University – $29,323.67
- Drake University – $46,116.59
- Graceland University-Lamoni – $48,929.62
- Grand View University – $59,840.75
- Grinnell College – $27,363.08
- Iowa Wesleyan University – $25,061.51
- Loras College – $28,897.46
- Luther College – $33,500.59
- Maharishi University of Management – $15,770.00
- Morningside College – $33,415.35
- Mount Mercy University – $51,572.16
- Northwestern College – $23,527.13
- Saint Ambrose University – $58,135.89
- Simpson College – $35,034.97
- St Luke’s College – $9,035.78
- University of Dubuque – $86,039.78
- Upper Iowa University – $130,110.52
- Wartburg College – $31,113.78
- William Penn University – $57,624.43
- Des Moines Area Community College – $380,014.34
- Eastern Iowa Community College District – $224,871.65
- Hawkeye Community College – $128,546.80
- Indian Hills Community College – $119,596.26
- Iowa Central Community College – $168,270.14
- Iowa Lakes Community College – $45,349.40
- Iowa Valley Community College – $66,830.70
- Iowa Western Community College -$186,000.74
- Kirkwood Community College – $319,406.40
- North Iowa Area Community College – $69,132.26
- Northeast Iowa Community College – $95,983.88
- Northwest Iowa Community College – $26,681.13
- Southeastern Community College – $69,473.24
- Southwestern Community College – $45,860.86
- Western Iowa Tech Community College – $139,372.69