New federal grant provides more loaner laptops for students

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Brooklyn Park, August 27, 2020 – Hennepin Technical College (HTC) has received a new federal grant that will reduce technology barriers for low-income students during the COVID-19 crisis.

Under the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, the U.S. Department of Education awarded grant funds to governors from each state. Colleges throughout Minnesota applied for these limited funds and $210,000 was awarded to HTC.

HTC will purchase 200 laptop computers and loan them to students in need. In addition, the college will use the funding to create 50 new hotspots on campus for fast and secure online connections.

“Our college is a caring community where we understand that taking care of student needs is essential to their success,” said Mark Johnson, academic dean, HTC. “We will continue to work hard to identify new funding and resources to help students continue with their college education in a distance learning environment.”

In the fall semester, HTC class lectures are online. Students will meet in-person for labs and skills learning.

A recent survey indicated approximately 20% of HTC students struggle with technology barriers such as lack of a computer or no high-speed internet. Often, those students use mobile phones or inexpensive tablets that are insufficient for downloading documents or accessing databases.

Prior to COVID-19, HTC had a laptop loan program through the college library. Students could check out a laptop, similar to checking out a book. When classes went virtual in March due to the pandemic, the library program was expanded so that 340 students could borrow laptops.

Yet, student demand for laptops is continuing to increase as COVID-19 causes additional financial hardships and disruptions.

ATTENTION students: If you need assistance due to COVID-19, please contact OneStop at 952-995-1300 or email onestop@hennepintech.edu