Topeka, Kan. – The AT&T Foundation and Washburn University Institute of Technology are excited to announce a $30,000 grant to Washburn Tech’s Virtual Technical College Initiative, which has already benefited more than 20 rural high schools in Kansas.
“AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives,” said Molly Kocour Boyle, regional vice president of Kansas external affairs for AT&T. “AT&T is focused on leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students, so we are excited this gift will train students across Kansas for their future careers.
The new funding from the AT&T Foundation will pay for Washburn Tech instructors and staff to develop curriculum incorporating augmented reality for the VTCI in the areas of advanced systems technology, health occupations and basic electricity courses.
“We are very grateful to the AT&T Foundation for helping us move this successful program forward and develop more technical education training opportunities for high school students,” said Gary Bayens, interim dean, Washburn Tech. “We know technical training is vital to Kansas’ economic success, and these students will often enter the local workforce or open businesses in the same communities in which they currently reside.”
Through online education and interactive distance learning, the VTCI offers courses in areas of advanced systems technology, climate and energy control, computer networking, graphics technology, technical drafting/auto CAD, basic electricity and health occupations. Connecting students to technical education while in high school is a key driver and motivator for students to continue their training in technical education.
“We are excited for what this gift will mean for Washburn Tech as it continues its innovative curriculum to deliver high-quality education to students across the state,” said Marshall Meek, president, Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation. “Thank you to the AT&T Foundation for all they have done for technical education at Washburn.”