Doug LeDuc

Indiana is partnering with a group called EducationSuperHighway to bring high-speed internet to every public school classroom in the state.

The group is the nation’s leading nonprofit specializing in upgrading internet access public schools across the country, at no taxpayer cost, according to an Oct. 24 announcement by Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick.

“To be ready for the jobs of the future, today’s students need the exposure and opportunity provided by quality digital learning experiences,” Holcomb said in a statement. “This partnership is the latest in our state’s ongoing commitment to extend and improve internet connectivity for every Indiana school.”

Even with 98 percent of Indiana’s school districts already meeting the minimum bandwidth per student recommended by the Federal Communications Commission to support digital learning, 38,500 Hoosier students still lack the bandwidth they need to take advantage of technology in the classroom, the statement said.

About 30 Indiana schools need high-speed fiber connections, 88 percent of the state’s school districts are not meeting national benchmarks for affordable broadband, and there is more than $47 million remaining in federal E-rate funding to improve Wi-Fi in Indiana schools, it said.

“Providing easy and available online access in Indiana schools is vital to the success of our students,” McCormick said in the statement. “When students have the right tools, learning is easier and more expansive. I am grateful for this partnership and how it will help prepare our students for life beyond high school.”

EducationSuperHighway will work with local school districts and the Indiana Department of Education to determine their needs — whether that’s greater and more affordable bandwidth, fiber infrastructure, or Wi-Fi upgrades.

From there, the group will work with school districts to help them achieve affordable broadband and wall-to-wall Wi-Fi with the capacity to support one-on-one digital learning.

It also will help them install the infrastructure required to deliver a minimum of 100 kilobits per second per student, with the flexibility to add more broadband as demand and technology advances.

The partnership also will help the state determine the best use for $2 million allocated in Indiana’s budget to secure more FCC E-rate match dollars for projects connecting schools to fiber at low or no cost to the schools.

“I commend Governor Holcomb and Superintendent McCormick for the progress Indiana has made in connecting its public school students and applaud their commitment to finishing the job,” Evan Marwell, EducationSuperHighway CEO, said in the statement.

“We’re looking forward to working with state leaders, school districts, and service providers across the state to ensure that every Hoosier student has equal access to high-speed connectivity and the educational opportunity that it allows.”

More information about Indiana’s eLearning initiatives is available at www.doe.in.gov/elearning.

Prairie Quest revamps PQC Trains website

A Fort Wayne professional services firm known for its procurement services has revamped its PQC Trains website at www.pqctrains.com.

Prairie Quest Consulting redesigned its website to provide quick and easy access to essential information as well as features that offer a more complete understanding of the company’s training services, it said in a statement.

The website also offers a news section to help visitors keep current with the company’s blogs, news, and events. The new site features a clean design with better functionality and improved, rich content focused on the PQC mission of providing professional services with a high level of integrity.

“We are excited about our new website launch and the robust information it provides for customers, investors, partners and media to better understand PQC Trains — one of the branches of the full PQC profile,” Martha Martin, PQC Trains international training program manager, said in the statement.

“We believe that this new site will allow our visitors to have a very informative experience as we continue to grow and increase our market presence.”

In addition to its international training division, PQC Trains provides services through its customized training and coaching and vocational rehabilitation and work readiness divisions.

Its program managers have years of education and workforce development experience, which includes developing and analyzing policies, curriculum and assessments. They also have deep expertise, the company said, in applying findings to create educational materials and better connect to target audiences.

Founded in 2004 by Stacey Smith, its president and CEO, PQC is a woman-owned, HUBZone, small business specializing in program management, training and IT services, which employs more than 140 in more than 14 states.

Its public and private sector contract track record includes contracts with the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Patent and Trademark Office.

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