PBDE Assists Community College with Bid for $3M in Campus Tech Updates

A’oa’oga Aso Nei is Samoan for Education of Today, and the name of a proposed upcoming program for technology modernization and digital curriculum at American Samoa Community College. The $3 million program is currently proposed for funding by the National Telecommunications and Information Agency’s (NTIA) Connecting Minority Communities grant program. Peter Dresslar of Pacific Broadband and Digital Equity (PBDE) assisted with program design, project planning, and grantmaking assistance for the program.

AAN will provide up to 1,100 new computers for students and faculty at American Samoa Community College (ASCC,) which is American Samoa’s sole accredited institution of higher education. Along with the new computers, the campus will receive gigabit internet service for 2-3 years, as well as the network improvements necessary to provide service to all classrooms and staff facilities in up to twenty campus buildings. Wireless capabilities throughout the campus will also be improved. Additional training will be provided to IT staff to support the updated technology and the program as a whole.

The initiative will also serve students with new curricula with a variety of delivery tools. Online certificate technology courses will be made available to up to twenty qualifying students interested in fields such as computer programming and data analysis. Dedicated courses will also be developed to teach core computer principles for a wide segment of students for various fields. And, as the program advances, a technology curriculum consultant will be engaged to work with college leadership to make some of these adjustments permanent beyond this initial phase of AAN.

Led by Grace Tulafono, ASCC Director of Information Technology, the initiative will kick off this spring, with the first updates for students planned for the fall student semester. PBDE will continue to offer technical assistance and execution capacity as the project takes root and grows.