The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Northeast Iowa Community College nearly $2 million over five years to support the college's technology infrastructure and web-based information and services.
NICC will receive $399,867 annually for five years, for a total of $1,999,728. The college plans to use the funding to improve information security, efficiency of business processes and distance learning quality, improve access to information and reporting capability, and expand wireless access throughout its district.
The funding will help NICC to update its technology to teach students, train faculty and staff, and stay current with ongoing technology advancements. Currently, 26 percent of all NICC students are enrolled in at least one online class or are in one of 12 programs offered completely online. This rising demand for distance learning is creating new demands for the latest in computer hardware and software.
With the funding, NICC plans to purchase video capture stations for its online programs. Video capture stations provide real-time, synchronous online learning environments that greatly increase faculty and student interaction, participation and collaboration. Other specific purchases will address technology infrastructure, such as upgrades to Internet Protocol Video (IPV) rooms, newer storage appliances to manage high volumes of data, more wireless access points on campuses and centers, and the implementation of employee recruiting, document imaging and web content management software. The grant also provides funds to create training programs for faculty and staff to implement new technologies in face-to-face, online, hybrid and Iowa Communications Network (ICN) programming.