USDA Rural Development State Director Quinton Robinson today announced a $25,700 grant for the University of North Georgia to expand distance learning opportunities within the Pioneer Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA).
"This significant technological improvement will exponentially expand effectiveness of educational programs and help ensure rural Georgia is workforce ready," said Quinton Robinson.
The grant will be used to pay a third of the cost of video conference bridge equipment that allows up to 10 live connections between the University of North Georgia and secondary school systems in rural northeast Georgia counties of the Pioneer RESA. Prior to this upgrade, the RESA could establish only one-on-one connections.
The video conference bridge will allow dual-enrolled high school students to join students remotely from up to eight other sites in live UNG Calculus I classes. It will expand opportunity for students to complete mathematics and science courses that are required for many STEM Degrees.
This bridge will also enable UNG to provide workforce development and professional development courses in remote rural communities throughout the region. Residents of rural communities will be able to access the same resources as their peers in more populated areas.
The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Grant program. Community Facilities Programs provide loans, grant and loan guarantees for essential community facilities in rural areas. Priority is given to health care, education and public safety projects. Since FY2012, USDA Rural Development Georgia awarded nearly $300,000 in grants for STEM projects.
President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.