Mesalands Community College delivered five laptop computers on Dec. 17 to Texico High School to aid 40 dual enrollment students who are taking various online college courses.
Mesalands receives the funding for the laptops from the U.S Department of Education Hispanic Serving Institution’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) grant, said Kimberly Hanna, public relations director.
Through funds from the STEM grant, Mesalands has also supplied laptop computers to Grady, House and Logan municipal school systems.
The addition of these computers to the schools meets one of the main objectives of the STEM program requirements at Mesalands, which is to improve student access and success in STEM education.
Mesalands ultimately wants to assist area high school students with online and dual credit course acquisition, said Dr. Forrest Kaatz, STEM grant director.
“Part of the concerns of the STEM grant is to improve technology in our service area. If we are offering dual courses and the high schools are having issues with technology and accessing their online classes, that’s a hindrance to serving our population and our students,” said Kaatz director of institutional effectiveness and research at Mesalands. “We felt that Texico High School might have a need for technology and they are fairly represented in the Dual Enrollment Program at Mesalands.”
Kaatz said this grant has allowed Mesalands to respond to an identified need for employment-related STEM education by improving laboratory facilities, and distance learning access.
“On behalf of Mesalands Community College, we are very excited to have the opportunity to assist our local area high schools in meeting some of their technology needs, through federal grant funds provided by the Department of Education” said Dr. Thomas W. Newsom, president of Mesalands. “As a result, we hope more young people will consider a STEM-related major, or a future career in a STEM-related field.”
Mesalands plans to provide other area school districts with new equipment as funds become available through the STEM grant.