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GEER Fund for Higher Education

As announced by Governor Kim Reynolds on August 7, 2020, $6.9 million from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund has been reserved for institutions of higher education (IHE) to improve connectivity for students or provide professional development for faculty in online instruction. The Iowa Department of Education will develop and coordinate an application process through which IHE may apply for funding.

The $6.9 million reserved for IHE will be divided between the following three components and used for the designated purpose. An IHE may apply for all applicable components or specific components of interest, provided the IHE meets the criteria for the component. An IHE must meet the definition of eligible institution to apply for funds.

Eligible institution: Regionally accredited, undergraduate public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities eligible for title IV funding and domiciled in Iowa.

Component 1

Access and connectivity - $4.4 million: Competitive grants to eligible institutions that apply for funds, to be used to eliminate barriers to online and remote learning opportunities including for students participating in concurrent enrollment coursework; ensure equitable access to technology.

Criteria to determine the maximum funding for which a recipient may claim against will be based on the number of Pell recipients served by the eligible institution, except that no eligible institution’s allocation will be less than $5,000. Funds will be distributed on a reimbursement basis. Recipients will have until June 30, 2021 to claim reimbursement for eligible expenses. 

  • Allowable uses include devices such as computers, tablets, remote learning software and applications, etc. to facilitate online learning; hardware such as modems and/or routers, hotspots, etc. that can be deployed to provide students with access to the internet; and internet subscriptions, data plans, etc.
  • Refer to the allocation table on page 3.

Application for Funds under Component 1

GEER IHE Fund Component 1 Application Questions

GEER Institutions of Higher Education Allocation detail October 2020

Iowa GEER Fund FAQs

Contacts for Component 1: Kelly Friesleben 515-868-2847 and Eric St. Clair 515-326-0274

Component 2

Capacity-building and professional development - $1.5 million: Competitive grants to eligible institutions or a consortium of eligible institutions, to be used to ensure equitable access to quality online courses and curriculum. Funds will be distributed on a reimbursement basis. Recipients will have until June 30, 2022 to claim reimbursement for eligible expenses. 

Preference will be given to applications that demonstrate consortia-based systemic approaches on either a multi-institutional or statewide basis in at least one of the following areas:

  • Promote best practices and strategies for effective online and remote instruction, which may include high school teachers qualified to teach concurrent enrollment coursework, non-credit and adult basic education instructors;
  • Support and train students and families, which may include credit, non-credit, adult and nontraditional students, to be successful in virtual learning environments. E.g., advising, mentoring, tutoring, and other support and retention strategies; and/or, 
  • Develop, curate, and support the adoption of open educational resources.

Application for Funds under Component 2 

Contacts for Component 2: Kelly Friesleben 515-868-2847 and Eric St. Clair 515-326-0274

Component 3

Adult education and literacy - $1 million: Grants to providers of adult education and literacy services under Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, to support on-going service delivery remotely and online. Funds will be distributed on a reimbursement basis.

Allocations under component 3 will be based on two criteria - 75 percent based on headcount enrollment and 25 percent based on a (federal) rurality score, where institutions in rural areas will receive a higher portion of funding. Recipients will have until June 30, 2021 to claim reimbursement for eligible expenses. 

  • Allowable uses include those listed under component 1 except that the use of purchased items must be for students participating in adult education and literacy.
  • Refer to the allocation table.

Local requirements: Eligible institutions that receive funding under component 1 and/or component 3 must use the funds to provide support to the students with the most significant barriers to accessing online and remote learning opportunities. The institutions will use locally-developed criteria to determine those students in greatest need of support.

Applications are available now to Title II providers via Iowagrants and are due October 1, 2020.

Contact for Component 3: Alex Harris 515-281-3640

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on December 01, 2020 at 12:26pm.