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NEO Gets Half Million Dollar Grant to Expand Distance Learning - KOAM TV 7

NEO Gets Half Million Dollar Grant to Expand Distance Learning

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     More classes will be closer to home for students connect to Northeastern Oklahoma A and M community college. It's possible through a half million dollar grant to expand distance learning.

Student Tamra Warren has her freshman experience class at NEO in Grove. It's her school of choice but for many of her classes the nursing student must drive to Miami.

Warren says, "Probably the gas would be the biggest issue going there every single day, or whatever  which I have to do next semester anyway so."

Nearly five hundred  thousand dollars  from  the Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant program will allow the school to buy more Polycom interactive video systems.  That way  Tamra and others can take more classes in Grove while teachers are at the main campus in Miami.

Daniel McgMcGuireys distance learning helps.  "So much easier.  I can't imagine having to travel for this. Study time alone would be taken out."

NEO Grove Administrative Coordinator Melanie Stegeman says the classes offer needed convenience. "Our students juggle families.  They juggle jobs, children, some of them juggle taking care of their parents as well.  So our students are dealing  with quite a bit. So to make their lives easier and ultimately their learning experience better, this is great."

Shannon Cunningham, NEO'S Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs adds, "Time is one of the most precious commodities we have.  So  if we can save them  time from having to drive to our main campus, it's just an added benefit."

Right now about two hundred  students attend classes  in Grove but officials expect that to change with more offerings through distance learning.

Cunningham says, "Absolutely, I think it will impact enrollment.  We'll see, I think more students who are  concurrently taking classes, high school students,  students who are going to their local high school  to take classes."

 At Grove Tamra will get to  learn closer to home.

She says, “I only live a few miles away.  I also do take classes in Miami that I do take at night ,but it's a lot easier  just to be here."

NEO  beams classes to eight  northeast Oklahoma rural high schools.

The grant will also be used to provide GED classes to rural parts of the NEO service area.

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