8 HBCUs set to get $2.4 million for virtual learning as a result of COVID-19

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COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- Governor McMaster announced an investment into private schools. It’s part of funding the state has for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.

The state’s HBCUs are also getting money as part of GEER funding.

Benedict College is one of eight historically Black colleges and universities in South Carolina, that are sent to receive some federal funding for their response to the coronavirus.

COVID-19 has impacted education in the state since March. At the state’s colleges and universities, students were sent home and coursework was put online.

The momentum was no different at the state’s 8 HBCUs.

James Clark ,the president of SC State University, recapped how the university adapted to the closure.

“We very quickly got into this stage where we needed to give our students an extra week to transition and then got into the phase of 100% remote classes.”

HBCUs traditionally have smaller student populations and smaller budgets in comparison to predominately white colleges and universities. Because of their history in the state many are located in rural areas.

But when you add in COVID-19, additional challenges arise.

President Clark continued, ” All of us need more investment in infrastructure period.

“Our students were challenged in the fact that a lot of them come from homes where they don’t have computers and then add in the internet service whether you’re in an urban or rural area,” explained Reginald Floyd from Morris College in Sumter.

Governor Henry McMaster recently allocated $2.4 million dollars to the HBCUs to assist students impacted by COVID-19 and to improve E-learning resources in an effort to adapt to the new campus life.

Floyd added, “Direct impact of having to go back home, travel, the cost of packing up some cost that pertain students upgrading their equipment.”

Clark outlined how the funds would be used at SCSU. “Most of that is hardware and software that allows for delivery and licensing, but in some cases it will be used for laptops and hotspots for those students with specific needs.”

The $2.4 million dollars was distributed to the schools based on student enrollment and PELL grant recipients.

SC State University $ 632,397
Denmark Technical College $ 119,174
Allen University $ 217,527
Benedict University $ 547,539
Claflin University $ 546,023
Clinton College $ 53,493
Morris College $ 166,048
Voorhees College $ 141,195

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