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Roane State receives $50,000 grant for Zoom rooms

The grant from Verizon is called "ZOOMING Our Way Into Education" and will expand learning opportunities and online training to expand its offerings.

HARRIMAN, Tenn. — The Roane State Foundation recently received a $50,000 grant called "ZOOMING Our Way Into Education" from Verizon to fund new Zoom rooms at Roane State’s Cumberland, Roane, Oak Ridge and Knox County campuses.

The new Zoom rooms will allow Roane State to expand learning opportunities, including online training, as the college continues to expand its offerings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the college.

At the Knox County Center for Health Sciences, for example, the availability of Zoom technology will extend the classroom experience to students learning remotely if they are unable to come to campus due to COVID-19 concerns, Roane State said in a release.

“This is particularly important to our nursing program classes,” explained Dr. Patricia Jenkins, Dean of Health Sciences at Roane State. “These courses can be very hands-on and the classroom discussions create a rich learning environment. This technology will allow students to still be active participants in class even when they are not able to attend in person.”

Roane State officials said the added Zoom room at the Knox County location is also expected to help RSCC provide more non-credit continuing healthcare education courses that will assist rural EMS providers with meeting licensure renewal requirements.

“By making renewal opportunities available virtually, we can help EMS providers meet critical needs where staffing is already limited,” said Kirk Harris, Director of RSCC’s Center for Health Sciences. “It will also cut down the travel time and costs. Participants in these classes will be able to access all of the required hours of classes via Zoom.”

In Cumberland County, the new technology will help meet additional needs for academic classes on campus while also allowing Roane State to provide unique courses to entrepreneurs and small business clients through the Cumberland Business Incubator (CBI), according to officials.

“The Zoom room will allow us to serve emerging entrepreneurs and existing entrepreneurs who would otherwise not be able to travel to the CBI for classes,” added Holly Hanson, Director of the Cumberland County Campus and the site’s Cumberland Business Incubator. “The assistance we can provide may be the difference-maker as small businesses in our region continue to be impacted by the pandemic.”

Eligible adults can now attend Roane State tuition-free with the new Reconnect grant.