Ozarks Technical Community College canceled in-person classes this spring. (Photo: Kristina Bridges-Templeton)
The move to online classes this spring illuminated another divide for Ozarks Technical Community College.
Many students did not have laptops or internet access at home.
To compensate, the college kept computer labs open on each campus. Now, they are offering a more permanent solution.
OTC announced two financial aid options for students impacted by the pandemic that shutdown campuses this spring. The best part? They do not have to be repaid.
- The OTC Technology Grant provides a $500 grant for education-related technology needs.
- The OTC Online Class Credit provides three credit hours of tuition and common fees for students who take more than 12 hours of online courses at OTC.
OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon said the pandemic had an impact on students’ mental and physical well-being.
“Many students lost jobs or were furloughed along with their parents, but we hope these two financial incentives will encourage our students to continue working toward their educational goals,” he said, in a news release.
Students can apply for the OTC Technology Grant if they are enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, in person or online, during the fall 2020 semester. The funds can be used for anything technology-related, including:
- Computers or tablets
- Hardware, such as hard drives, monitors or keyboards
- Software or software upgrades
- Electronic textbooks or course materials
- High-speed Internet or Wi-Fi
“In the spring, when all classes moved online, we realized that some of our students did not have the technology necessary to be successful,” said Joan Barrett, OTC vice chancellor for student services, in the release.
“These grants will help our students obtain the resources needed to be successful college students in the 21st century, whether they prefer to take classes in-person or online.”
To encourage social distancing, the college is offering an incentive for students to enroll in classes that can be completed remotely. The OTC Online Class Credit will cover the tuition and common fees for a three-credit-hour online class as long as students have enrolled in at least 12 additional credit hours.
This award will be automatically applied as a credit when eligible students register for classes this fall.
“Students who take a full course load graduate at a higher rate and sooner than students who attend part-time,” said OTC Provost Tracy McGrady, in the release. “This scholarship will keep our students moving toward success.”
Read or Share this story: https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/education/2020/06/28/otc-offers-grants-help-students-buy-laptops-online-learning/3244288001/