Carteret Community College receives second USDA grant to support distance learning | News | #education | #technology | #training

MOREHEAD CITY — The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded Carteret Community College a $508,751 distance learning and telemedicine grant Nov. 1.

The college is one of 105 entities across the nation and one of five in North Carolina to receive a grant. It is also the only community college to receive funds. This is the second year CCC has been a grant recipient.

The program helps fund distance learning and telemedicine services in rural areas to increase access to education, training and health care resources that are otherwise limited or unavailable.

 “I am excited that Carteret Community College was selected for a second USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant,” CCC President Dr. Tracy Mancini said in a press release issued Tuesday about the award. “This grant allows the college to partner with community organizations and agencies to provide access to education and training. The grant award will not only benefit Carteret Community College, but all citizens of Carteret County.” 

CCC’s funding will be used to expand distance learning course offerings to include live, interactive synchronous continuing education courses, certifications, peer recovery support specialist training, substance abuse certificate programs, suicide prevention and opioid awareness training. 

The college will also use equipment purchased through this grant to teach virtual classes in other subjects.

Students who are unable to attend classes on the college’s main Morehead City campus due to incarceration and substance abuse treatment, as well as work schedules, transportation issues and those who cannot take online courses due to lack of internet connection or appropriate devices will be able to further their training and education at a more accessible site.

“The college plans to offer courses from our Human Services certificate program synchronously at these sites,” Dr. Mancini said. “Clients or residents close to those sites will also be able to use the technology to take online courses, participate in telemedicine opportunities, and have internet access. This outreach effort aligns with our commitment to expand the college’s ability to meet students and prospective learners where they are and to address barriers to education and training.”

In addition to upgrading several classrooms on campus, the funding will enable the college to put computers and other equipment and software in communities and organizations throughout Carteret County. Equipment will be installed at Hope Mission of Carteret County Peer Recovery Center, Beaufort Housing Authority, Broad Street Clinic, the MirIAm, Carteret Correctional Center and Atlantic Elementary School. 

“We at Carteret Correctional Center are very honored to partner with Carteret Community College to provide educational opportunities and job skills to our offender population,” stated warden Embery Morton. “This partnership provides the necessary skills for the offenders to be successful in returning to the community.”    

The first such USDA award of $960,546 allowed the college to locate technology and audio visual equipment at Marine Science and Technologies Early College High School, East Carteret High School, The Bridge Downeast, Croatan High School, Carteret County Department of Social Services, Fort Benjamin Park Recreational Center, Harlowe Community Center and Western Carteret Library. Equipment distribution and training for off-site partners began this month. The college hopes to install the second round of equipment this summer.

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