Eleven historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are splitting $25 million in grant funding to help overhaul IT campus infrastructure and prepare students for the IT job market.

A few schools have already reported on how they will use the funding, provided by Dominion Energy.

Central State University received a $500,000 grant to overhaul the school’s IT infrastructure. The funding will be used to upgrade virtual learning tools to increase access to remote classroom instruction and enhance the distance and hybrid learning experience.

Leighton McCoy, vice president of Gas Distribution Technical Services at Dominion Energy said the goal of the funding is to help “[enhance] the institution’s IT infrastructure to bridge the digital divide.”

Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio, also received $500,000 and has used the funding to purchase laptops for all enrolled students and faculty for the fall semester’s remote learning and teaching experience. The school also intends to use some of the funding to finance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) scholarships to help prepare students for the STEM job market.

“Never in our lifetime have students faced such hardships to attend school. Because of this meaningful gift, Wilberforce students will get the tech support they need to successfully attend classes in safe environments,” said Natalie Coles, vice president of institutional advancement at Wilberforce University.

The grant funding will go to Virginia Hampton University, Hampton, Va., Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Va., Virginia Union University, Richmond, Va., Virginia State University, Petersburg, Va., Allen University, Columbia, S.C., Benedict College, Columbia, S.C., Claflin University, Orangeburg, S.C., South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, S.C., Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio, and North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, N.C. While all of the grants include plans for IT infrastructure overhaul, Dominion hasn’t released specific funding plans for each college because it anticipates customizing the grants based on each school’s needs.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs