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LeMoyne-Owen secures tech grant to ramp up digital efforts

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By BlackPressUSA

LeMoyne-Owen College will be able to improve the student experience with the help of a national grant from Campus Consortium, a global non-profit education association.

The Consortium awarded nearly $250,000 to two liberal arts, historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) nationwide: LeMoyne-Owen College and Dillard University in New Orleans.

The money will be used by LeMoyne-Owen to help the College’s ongoing efforts to revamp its tech functions to ensure efficiency and a higher level of customer service for current and prospective students and families. Its immediate goal is to increase capacity in various internal departments, such as admissions, financial aid, registrar, technology services, and alumni relations, which are all touchpoints that affect long-term institutional growth.

The technological improvements ultimately can lead to additional offerings for students and families, including online and distance learning, improved dual enrollment options, certification offerings, and a potential satellite campus.

Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Charles Elliott said the pandemic exposed inequities among African American students and those at historically black colleges and universities, in particular. Private internet access, bandwidth requirements and computers are all tools required for effective at-home learning. African American families are at a disadvantage because of the digital divide.

“It has given a new sense of the digital divide when it comes to our students,” Elliott says. “Their phones can no longer serve as the sole device for learning, and it has confirmed our need for a more robust environment that is stable and easily accessible to them.”

To provide a solid infrastructure for students during virtual learning sessions in Summer and Fall, the College took immediate steps to help students, and built new partnerships that provided them with Internet access and a device to complete coursework.

Recently, the College also entered into a partnership with ACI Worldwide to allow digital tuition and fee payments through its website.

“We are elated to have received these funds from the Campus Consortium to make necessary technology upgrades to benefit our students,” said Dr. Carol Johnson Dean, interim president.

“I commend the leadership around our Information Technology work and look forward to even more growth and transformation at LeMoyne-Owen College.”

(For more information about LeMoyne-Owen College, visit loc.edu.)

This article originally appeared in the New Tri-State Defender