Lynne Hinrichsen, USDA Rural Development state director for Kansas, has announced that USDA is investing $943,163 to provide science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes to students in rural areas.
“Distance learning provides more educational resources to difficult to reach populations,” Hinrichsen says. “This project enhances the focus on rural education.”
This Rural Development investment will be used to extend STEM classes to underserved areas of Allen and Woodson Counties in rural Southeast Kansas. It will also enable Neosho County Community College to create new STEM distance learning capabilities in Chanute and Ottawa. The new distance learning will help to serve surrounding rural areas including Franklin County and Neosho County, schools especially with increased allied health courses needed to improve residents' health, and to decrease out-migration.
The announcement was made in conjunction with a larger announcement made by USDA, where it is investing $72 million in 40 states through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program. These investments will benefit more than 12 million rural residents.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.
For more information, visit rd.usda.gov/ks or call 785-271-2700.