Two Arizona Tribal Colleges to Receive Grants to Improve Internet Access for Students

Diné Faculty and Tohono O’odham Group Faculty obtained multi-million greenback grants to help their efforts to enhance instructional and financial alternatives inside their tribal communities by enhancing Web entry, offering extra {hardware}, and investing in info expertise workers.

“We knew we needed to lengthen our providers past our campuses and facilities to the Navajo Nation, and a part of this funding will enable us to fund broadband providers throughout the reservation,” mentioned Diné Faculty IT Director Ihab Saleh. in a press launch. “We may also put money into our folks, as a result of it’s the folks behind the scenes that make any undertaking work.”


The grants had been awarded by the US Division of Commerce’s Nationwide Telecommunications and Data Administration as a part of the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program.

“America’s minority-serving faculties and universities are essential facilities of studying which have too typically been left behind on the subject of reasonably priced high-speed Web entry,” Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves mentioned in a press release. a press launch saying the grant awards.

The Pilot Program Connecting Minority Communities is reserved for traditionally black faculties and universities, tribal faculties and universities, and minority-serving establishments to buy broadband Web entry providers and eligible tools or to rent and practice IT workers.

Diné Faculty will obtain greater than $2.9 million in funding to help the college’s efforts to implement expertise upgrades within the classroom, present a group expertise middle, develop job coaching, financial development, digital literacy expertise, and internships or apprenticeships.

“Diné Faculty stays the nation’s first tribal school and the establishment continues to encourage Navajo college students looking for larger schooling,” Navajo Nation President Seth Damon mentioned in a information launch. “The CONNECT NAVAJO undertaking will present high-speed broadband Web to our college students who want it most.”

The undertaking goals to enhance instructional and financial alternatives on the Navajo Nation by enhancing Web entry, offering extra {hardware}, and investing in IT workers.

“Dependable laptop and Web entry is essential to scholar success within the classroom,” US Senator Mark Kelly mentioned in a press launch. “This grant will guarantee Diné Faculty college students have entry to new laptops, cell hotspots, print kiosks {and professional} growth coaching.”

CONNECT NAVAJO goals to make sure that the Diné folks can proceed to reside of their houses on the Navajo Nation and profit from entry to expertise that helps them achieve educational credentials and enter financially rewarding and personally fulfilling careers, in line with this system description of Nationwide Telecommunications and Data Administration.

“At this time’s essential funding will make an enormous distinction for college students on the Navajo Nation – increasing web entry, enhancing retention charges and transferring one step nearer to closing the digital divide,” mentioned US Senator Kyrsten Sinema in a press release. Press launch. “I’m proud to assist safe this much-needed funding for Diné Faculty.”

Tohono O’odham Group Faculty will obtain greater than $1.9 million in funding to help the faculty’s efforts to enhance digital literacy expertise, workforce coaching, financial development, and group expertise hub and upgrades.

Tohono O’odham Group Faculty’s undertaking to obtain funding known as Hewel Wepegi Macidag kc, wog, or “Studying the Web Street.” The undertaking is designed to instantly handle the dearth of broadband entry, connectivity, adoption, and fairness on campus and within the Tohono O’odham Nation.

“The general purpose of this system is to help financial growth within the Tohono O’odham Nation by means of digital workforce growth, improved group connectivity, and improved laptop literacy,” this system description says.

The Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program was developed as a part of the Web for All initiative of the Biden administration that seeks to attach everybody within the US with reasonably priced, dependable high-speed Web.

“The Connecting Minority Communities pilot program permits these establishments to be a useful resource for entry, digital expertise coaching, and scholar and group workforce growth applications to assist degree the financial taking part in discipline,” mentioned Graves. .

5 grants had been awarded as a part of the CMC program, totaling greater than $10.6 million in funding. The grants might be used to fund Web entry, tools, and to rent and practice info expertise workers.

The functions had been evaluated by the Nationwide Telecommunications and Data Administration utilizing a 3 stage course of: Preliminary Administrative and Eligibility Overview of Full Utility Packages, Advantage Overview, and Programmatic Overview.

The evaluate standards included the aim of the undertaking, the wants and advantages of the undertaking, the feasibility and innovation of the undertaking, the price range of the undertaking, after which the analysis of the undertaking.

These are simply the primary 5 grants awarded, the Nationwide Telecommunications and Data Administration will proceed to evaluate greater than 200 functions it obtained earlier than the appliance closed on December 1, 2021. Awards might be introduced on a rolling foundation.

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