Kent State University Geauga Campus is pleased to announce a $20,000 award from the Lake-Geauga Fund of the Cleveland Foundation towards a student emergency fund and technology advances.
The $20,000 grant will be split evenly between the two initiatives. Half of the award is earmarked for the installation of a Zoom Room at the Geauga Campus in Burton. This will include state-of-the-art technology allowing the institution to deliver synchronous and asynchronous courses to students. The remaining $10,000 will assist Kent State students residing in Lake and Geauga counties facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
“This award is a godsend for our students,” says Lance Williams, Director of Special Projects and Operations at Kent State Geauga. “We will continue to seek out opportunities to help students in need within our communities and scale our capacity to deliver distance learning within the region.”
The Kent State Regional Campus system has implemented the use of Zoom software since 2018 in classrooms that are appropriately called ‘Zoom Rooms.’ These Zoom Rooms provide students with the ability to; take classes at their home campus without having to travel to other campus locations, access expert faculty in their respective fields, and provide dynamic interaction with faculty and students from across the Kent State Regional Campus system.
Prior to the pandemic the overwhelming majority of our coursework was delivered face-to-face, with the remainder being offered in either an exclusively online format, or synchronously through the use of our Zoom Rooms. As we continue with both remote and synchronous instruction, our faculty will continue to use these Zoom Rooms to teach coursework that students need to stay on track as they pursue their degrees.
The $10,000 award for the implementation of the Zoom Room at the Geauga Campus will go towards purchasing and installing hardware, software, labor for network and power access, and signage. “Adding another Zoom Room on campus will provide greater availability of course offerings to Geauga Campus students,” Williams said.
For the remaining $10,000 of the award, Kent State Geauga is pleased to offer Kent State students living in Lake or Geauga counties student aid awards through the campus’s Emergency Relief Fund. This fund is specifically for those students who are currently experiencing financial hardship, food insecurity, unexpected medical or childcare expenses, housing instability, or transportation barriers hindering their ability to succeed as a student.
Students living in Geauga and Lake counties who applied for CARES Act relief and were not funded will have their prior applications considered for possible student aid. Funding will be awarded based on several factors, including individual needs and the circumstances surrounding their need for funding.
“Kent State Geauga sends its sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Lake-Geauga Fund of the Cleveland Foundation for this significant and timely award,” says Dean Angela Spalsbury.
The Lake-Geauga Fund aims to fund initiatives solely in Lake and Geauga Counties. “The fund has been a critical resource to the Lake and Geauga county communities as it has provided funding to jumpstart new ideas, guide organizational strategy, leverage additional dollars, and address high priority program needs.” (https://www.clevelandfoundation.org/grants/lake-geauga/rfp/) Kent State Geauga is continuing to look for other grant opportunities to expand Zoom Room implementations and financial relief for all Kent State Geauga and Twinsburg Academic Center students.