Augusta Tech Awarded $1.6M Grant

Staff Report

Friday, August 26th, 2022

Augusta Technical College has been awarded a United States Department of Education Predominantly Black Institutions Formula grant in the amount of approximately $1.6 million over five years. The grant project is entitled VARiETy (Virtual and Augmented Reality in Engineering Technology), and its purpose is to enhance student engagement and improve educational outcomes in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Nuclear Engineering Technology, as well as encourage women to pursue Engineering Technology as a viable career option.

The following activities/services are planned or in progress to accomplish the goals and objectives of the PBI project.

  • Implement a skills immersion lab to enhance instruction of course curriculum delivery and improve student engagement

  • Establish community outreach programs that will encourage women to pursue Engineering Technology as a career

  • Construct a Virtual and Augmented Reality learning lab

  • Develop an Engineering Technology “connection” pathway for secondary students to a Technical Certificate of Credit (TCC) while enrolled in high school.

The purpose of the Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Program is to strengthen eligible institutions to plan, develop, undertake and implement programs to enhance the institution’s capacity to serve more low- and middle-income Black American students; to expand higher education opportunities for eligible students by encouraging college preparation and student persistence in secondary school and postsecondary education; and to strengthen the financial ability of the institution to serve the academic needs of these students.

“Augusta Technical College is pleased to receive these funds to expand student access in our Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology programs, which are Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET) accredited programs, and our Nuclear Engineering Technology program, which is the only program of its kind in the State of Georgia," stated College Provost Dr. Melissa Frank-Alston. “In addition, these funds will allow the College to further its vision in supporting women to pursue and persist in engineering technology fields, of which women continue to be underrepresented.”