University of Dubuque Receives Nearly $90,000 to Increase Internet Connectivity

Jan 19, 2021 | University Relations staff

DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque received $89,846.37 from the Iowa Department of Education through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund.

The grant money will offset the purchase of laptops, hotspots, software, and other items to help increase internet connectivity for students. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of connections across our society, especially in higher education. During this time, connecting through the internet has become an essential component to learning. We are thankful to be able to employ these funds to improve connectivity for our students,” said Mark Ward, PhD, vice president for academic affairs at UD.

Because of the pandemic, the University transitioned to online learning in spring 2020. With additional protocols in place, UD offered classes with in-person/synchronous and remote/synchronous attendance options that depend on students’ particular situations for the 2020-2021 academic year. To help increase internet connectivity for students, certain needs were targeted including investing in software to allow for a virtual class presence and creating a laptop program in spring 2020 in which 75 laptops were loaned to students who did not have access to a computer once they were no longer on campus.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education announced in August 2020 that $26.2 million would be available to school districts, nonpublic schools, and colleges and universities primarily to increase internet connectivity for students for the 2020-2021 academic year. Through the GEER, $6.9 million of that funding was earmarked for public and private two- and four-year colleges and universities.