LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State University is spending $6.3 million in federal pandemic relief money on almost two dozen projects to “further the university’s strategic goals, including student success and social mobility,” and will use close to another $6 million on other student-oriented goals and technology.
The university announced June 30 it will fund 23 projects using federal money obtained through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The projects, the university said, are meant to “address limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic” as well as “enhance faculty and staff readiness” to improve student performance and aligning with NMSU’s goals.
“We selected a wide range of projects that support our mission and the intent behind HEERF in diverse ways,” said NMSU President John Floros in a news release. “They run the gamut from COVID-19 wastewater testing and furnishings for outdoor classroom tents to expanding the library’s e-book collections and supporting a number of student success initiatives.”
Notably, NMSU said some of the funding will be used to provide every freshman student an iPad tablet at the beginning of the fall semester. The university said the iPads will enhance students’ digital literacy skills.
“The pandemic showed how essential it is for our incoming students to be ready to use technology to access classes, learn about activities and opportunities, and stay connected to their peers,” said Renay Scott, vice president for student success.
Scott also said the iPad initiative is a “first step” toward addressing the gap in technology many students face, which Scott said can impede their academic success.
NMSU also received $1 million it will dedicate toward teaching assistantships in individual colleges. Another $4.7 million was allocated to the offices of the chancellor, provost and academic affairs; student success and enrollment management; vice president for research and graduate school; and administration and finance through HEERF, which NMSU said will be used for classroom technology, cybersecurity and graduate student support.
The total HEERF allocation for university use is $12.1 million. The full list of projects is available here.
The university said it has also distributed $13 million in emergency financial aid grants to students using HEERF money. The grants range from $800 to $1,200 which are used for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.
Read More:NMSU lays out federal pandemic money usage