Universal Technical Institute (UTI) will utilize a portion of its CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) to provide approximately 14,000 students with laptops, which will facilitate their participation in UTI’s newly designed blended curriculum.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to continue to best serve students, UTI has transitioned its on-campus, in-person education model to a blended training model that combines online, instructor-delivered teaching and demonstrations with hands-on labs. On-campus labs have been re-designed to meet CDC, state and local guidelines for health, safety and social distancing. The school is now enhancing its online offerings, giving students additional preparation for careers that use a combination of hands-on and computer skills.
“The shift to a blended learning model requires not only new instructional strategies and technologies but also an enhanced learning environment for students,” said Jerome Grant, UTI’s CEO. “Providing students with laptops will enable them to more seamlessly continue their education and stay on track to graduate and begin their careers.”
Initially, students who start school by Sept. 28, along with existing active students and those returning from a leave of absence with more than four classes to complete will receive a laptop. The laptop program is supported by HEERF CARES Act funding, which UTI also is using to provide emergency financial aid grants to students impacted by the disruption of COVID-19, and for other purposes in support of students continuing their education during the pandemic.
Consistent with guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education, UTI is allocating HEERF funding to support its students, who are training to work as transportation, welding and computer numerical control (CNC) machining technicians. These skilled technicians build and maintain vital infrastructure and equipment, service essential truck fleets, and keep vehicles on the road, and despite significant unemployment, will continue to be in demand as the nation recovers from the pandemic, according to UTI.
“In these challenging and uncertain times, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve and support our students and to train the skilled technicians America needs,” Grant said.