Community college MESA students have one more tool to help them succeed, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
About 5,800 laptops will be distributed to mostly MESA students at 33 community colleges throughout the state over a three-year period through the California Connects, a program to increase digital literacy and broadband access in underserved communities.
The program, led by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, is a partnership that includes the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, community colleges with MESA programs, and the Great Valley Center. The $10.9 million program grant is part of the US Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.
As part of California Connects, the students will complete online courses and become certified in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel programs. They must also commit to 12 hours of community service by teaching family and community members how to use a computer. Participants from the Great Valley Centers will undergo similar training.
California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott is an enthusiastic supporter. “I’m a great believer in MESA,” he said. “This program gives MESA students and others a chance to have access to needed technology.”
Through these efforts, California Connects intends to teach underserved communities how to access and navigate the internet for educational, health and economic purposes, with a special emphasis on the central valley.
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