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Great Plains College receives funding to provide technology supports for students

Great Plains College has received $74,200 in one-time federal funding that will benefit nearly 150 students and their families with the provision of laptops to support their educational goals. Student assistance will be made available to eligible adult basic education and post-secondary students who have existing technological barriers to learning.

In partnership with the United Way Regina and the United Way of Saskatoon and Area, this program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund.

The college has established an assessment process that will fairly and equitably determine which adult basic education and post-secondary students at the Biggar, Kindersley, Maple Creek, Martensville, Swift Current and Warman campuses will receive this assistance while studying at Great Plains College.

“College staff identified the barriers that learners and their families experienced by not having appropriate equipment and access to technology in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Keleah Ostrander, director of learner services and adult basic education. “Given the blended delivery model for programming, the college made it a priority to ensure improved access for these learners heading into a new
academic year.”

Ostrander noted the value of collaborating with the United Way Regina and the United Way of Saskatoon and Area. “These partnerships have made the provision of technology possible and we are confident that this will result in improved learner outcomes for the supported families.”

College students also expressed the role that technology support plays in their success. “I feel very fortunate that I was able to receive a laptop from Great Plains College,” said Monica Spetz, a student in the adult basic education program. “The laptop plays a vital role in allowing me to continue with my studies and learning, whether I am in the classroom or taking a course online.”

Spetz lives in a rural community and the technology has been essential as she works towards achieving her Adult 12 standing. “The technology allows me the ability to download resources required to complete my studies.”

The Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund aims to help charities and non-profit organizations adapt and increase frontline services for vulnerable populations during COVID-19. Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, community-based charities and non-profit organizations have been working tirelessly to provide emergency support of all kinds – in particular, to individuals and
communities experiencing continued or heightened vulnerability. Demand for their services has increased dramatically.

The Fund is designed to help organizations carry out their vital work to ensure no one is left behind. United Way Regina and United Way Saskatoon and Area have been pleased to support this vital investment by the Government of Canada in critical services for vulnerable people in their broader community base.

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