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2016 Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant: Information on the RUS Grant

by Brandon Vancleeve on May 22, 2015
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Application Window : January 12, 2016 to March 14,2016

About the RUS Grant

The RUS-DLT (Rural Utilities Service-Distance Learning and Telemedicine) grant is specifically designed to support rural communities to overcome the effects of low populations and remoteness by utilizing advanced telecommunications to connect to each other and the world. The RUS grant can be used to provide students exposure to enhanced learning opportunities and to improve medical care to patients through telecommunication technologies. The RUS-DLT grant is open and available to most entities in rural communities that are committed to employing telecommunications to improve education and health care.

The RUS-DLT program has helped to create engaging learning experiences for students in rural schools by connecting them to the world via virtual fieldtrips and by introducing them to experts in various fields . One of our clients, the Colstrip School District, used their DLT grant to teach students about the Cheyenne language and culture (learn more on Colstrip’s experience with their case study here) by connecting them to a college professor. Imagine what you can do for your students and community by using advanced telecommunications to improve education and health care. Rural grants range from $50,000-$500,000 and require a minimum 15% match. 

The application deadline is March 14, 2016

Who Can Apply?

Applicants must be a legally incorporated organization or partnership. This can include state and local government entities, tribal organizations, both non-profit and for-profit businesses and consortia of eligible entities. Applicants must have the legal authority to provide, operate and maintain proposed services or products. Facilities financed with federal dollars are to be used for public purposes.

Eligible organizations include:

  • Local education agencies
  • Education service centers
  • Medical service and healthcare providers
  • Higher education institutions
  • Workforce investment boards
  • Federally-recognized Tribes
  • Faith-based communities

In order to be eligible, organizations must deliver or propose to deliver distance learning or telemedicine services during the life of the grant.

Eligible Equipment

  • Audio, video and interactive video equipment
  • Terminal and data terminal equipment
  • Computer hardware, network components and software
  • Inside wiring and similar infrastructure that further DLT services
  • Acquisition of instructional programming that is a capital asset
  • Acquisition of technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment

Examples of Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Awards for K-12 Schools

Distance Learning

  • Opportunity for teachers to share through different schools
  • Interactively connecting students from different educational institutions
  • Advanced placement distance learning classes
  • Vocational training and certification
  • Community outreach and education
  • Foreign language courses
  • Virtual classroom field trips

Telemedicine

  • Providing health services through advanced telecommunications
  • Telemedicine to school-based health centers
  • Connecting specialists from urban areas to Rural health centers

What can Pine Cove do for you?

Our advanced telecommunications technology include high definition audio and video conferencing equipment. We enable your district to connect students from any location to teachers/professors on remote campuses. Healthcare experts can connect to rural community health centers to help diagnose and treat patients. Telecommunication technology improves access to education and healthcare in rural communities. We are the solution to bridging the gap for your telecommunication needs. The RUS grant is one of those technology grants for public schools in rural communities that can help everyone.

Start Applying!

Proposal tips:

  • Must be innovative and cost effective
  • Show why you need the money and how you will use it
  • Capitalize on how the grant will be used for the success of your students
  • Creativity and uniqueness gains additional points
  • Make a comprehensible and feasible plan
  • How will your program maintain sustainability throughout the life of your grant?
  • Use supporting facts and documents
  • Maintain unity throughout the proposal
  • Continue to relate back to your project need and goals
  • Document specific distance learning or telemedicine needs and how the project addresses them.
  • Quantify the project and have methods of evaluating success for the community
  • Match funds with your proposed needs
  • Be clear and concise
  • Aim for a score of 90 points or more – often this requires a leverage match of 30% or more.

Criteria:

  • Economic Need – 35 potential points
  • Empowerment Zones – 10 potential points
  • Leverage (match) – 35 potential points
  • Additional NSLP (National School Lunch Program) – 10 potential points
  • Needs and Benefits – 45 potential points
  • Innovativeness – 15 potential points
  • Cost Effectiveness – 35 potential points

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