Wicker, Hyde-Smith Welcome $1.98M in Grants for Distance Education Programs

Rural Development Grants to Support Technology Installation Statewide

November 20, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., today welcomed the award of $1,980,417 to support distance learning programs across the entire state. The grants will be awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Rural Development.

“These investments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help bring new learning technology to dozens of sites in Mississippi,” Wicker said. “With this support, thousands of students and job seekers will be able to access educational opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach.”

“Expanding the technological infrastructure to allow distance learning will create so many opportunities for rural Mississippians.  Using universities, community colleges, schools, and USDA Extension Service offices allow greater outreach to the youth and adults alike,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.  “I applaud USDA Rural Development and the grant recipients for working together to make progress on these projects.”

The USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants will support the following projects:

  • Base Camp Coding Academy - $492,131 to install distance learning technologies to connect the Base Camp Coding Academy facility in Water Valley to Northwest Community College in Senatobia.
  • Mississippi State University - $488,315 to update video conferencing and cloud-based equipment at dozens of USDA Extension Office sites across the state.
  • Covington County School District - $480,628 to procure interactive video systems and touch panels at eight sites in Covington County to enable curriculum and teacher sharing.
  • Mississippi Community College Board - $319,343 to install virtual reality equipment in Coahoma, Copiah, Kemper, Hinds, Jones, George, Prentiss, and Tate counties.
  • Coahoma Community College - $200,000 to install a distance learning system to connect the college to high schools in Coahoma, Tallahatchie, and Quitman counties.