Flathead Valley Community College has received $387,500 for two new projects that support workforce development and remote education delivery in Montana. The funding comes from Montana’s portion of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF), which was established earlier this year by the Education Stabilization Fund through the CARES Act.
In partnership with Miles Community College (MCC), FVCC was awarded $67,500 to deliver FVCC’s paramedicine degree program on the MCC campus beginning next fall semester. Rural students in Eastern Montana will take paramedicine courses online and remotely while participating in hands-on lab and clinical work in Miles City.
FVCC also received $320,000 to build two remote learning and workforce centers, one on the Kalispell campus and one on the Lincoln County Campus in Libby. The coordinated centers will focus on developing and delivering courses in the trades and industrial arts, beginning with electrical technology and commercial driver’s license (CDL) programs.
“With ample opportunities for expansion into the additional trades programs currently available on FVCC’s Kalispell campus, coordinated Remote Learning and Workforce Centers will improve the quality and quantity of workforce training FVCC can provide to remote areas of our service region,” FVCC Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Chris Clouse said.
On the Kalispell campus, an existing building will be expanded to house the center, which will be equipped with smart projectors and laptops loaded with specialized software. For students who need to participate in classes remotely and have limited access to technology, the center will check out hotspots and laptops.
On the Lincoln County Campus, the center will be include space for hands-on training, as well as a classroom component for both in-person teaching and for receiving remote instruction from instructors at the Kalispell center.