|Jul 12, 2011 --
USDA Rural Development
Coconino Community College
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program
Coconino County, Arizona
Coconino County covers more than 18,000 square miles of land in northern Arizona. The sizable area makes the county larger than each of the nine smallest states and the second largest county in the nation. There is one large cosmopolitan city located within the county which is Flagstaff, so most of the county is rural. The most remote communities in the county include Williams, Grand Canyon, Fredonia, Page, Tuba City and Supai Village currently lack digital learning capabilities for higher education. Most students seeking higher educational opportunities in these remote locations are unable to travel to Flagstaff, which is the closest Coconino Community College Campus. Barriers including time constraints, distance of travel and transportation needs prevent many students from the education they deserve. Connecting and establishing distance learning capabilities in learning centers throughout the county will help many people continue their education and alleviate these barriers.
How Rural Development Helped:
In 2011 Coconino Community College (CCC) of Arizona received a Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant for $305,833. Investing in rural America provides important opportunities to people who otherwise would not be able to access important technological/educational tools.
This grant will allow the replacement of CCC’s outdated equipment with high-definition videoconferencing equipment. Upgraded equipment, enhanced distance learning services, Interactive TV (ITV) Technology, and instructional television, allow students at the rural distance learning location to take college courses that are taught from another site such as CCC’s Lone Tree or Fourth Street campuses in Flagstaff. ITV is often the only alternative distance learners have to higher education if they cannot access college coursework in-person or online.
The grant allows rural students to complete Arizona General Education Curriculum pre-requisites in both the arts and lab sciences without having to relocate. Because the new equipment delivers a very high resolution image, ITV courses not previously possible such as American Sign Language are now available. In addition to being able to complete general education requirements in the Arts and Sciences with ITV, remote students may qualify for CCC2NAU, an innovative college access program providing a smooth, seamless transfer from the community college to university.
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