BALTIMORE, MD (November 3, 2021) – StraighterLine kicked off the month of October by joining thousands of organizations around the nation in celebrating National Digital Inclusion Week to raise awareness for digital equity. In addition to helping share messages about the importance of increasing digital access for all, StraighterLine pledged to donate $5 to the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) for every new student who enrolled in an online course during the month of October. Together StraighterLine and its students raised $8405 for the NDIA, which will provide Digital Inclusion 101 training for up to 1,000 digital inclusion practitioners who are new to the field.
“When students have access to high speed Internet, they have a great choice in their academic career,” said Smith. “A rural student with the Internet can still get a degree without having to move away from their community and a student in an urban area can go to class with students around the world. For these students, gaining access to the Internet makes pursuing their dream of higher education a reality.”
According to NDIA, the U.S. Census shows that 36 million U.S. households do not have a wireline broadband subscription. That includes 26 million households in urban areas and 10 million in rural areas. There are some areas in which broadband has not yet been built, however the majority of households without Internet simply cannot afford it. The NDIA works directly with several organizations that provide things like mobile wi-fi to communities like these without access.
Digital inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of affordable broadband internet service, digital devices, access to digital literacy training, quality technical support and online content designed to encourage participation and collaboration.
The lack of digital access and inclusion negatively impacts lives in many ways. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted already existing problems in both access to digital skills, digital devices, and Internet access, from K-12 through higher education. Students who relied on Internet access through libraries, school dorms, or public meeting places were suddenly unable to connect to attend classes that went virtual, or even complete homework.
“Opening opportunities to internet access, devices, and digital skills provides access to crucial education for many who have been left behind. Working together, and understanding the needs of students, we can move toward greater inclusion and digital equity for all,” said Yvette Scorse, NDIA communications director.
StraighterLine is a student success company and the category creator for providing scalable solutions to deliver affordable, effective and accelerated learning pathways to formal degree programs and widely recognized industry credentials. The StraighterLine platform supports over 40,000 new students a year, including directly through the straighterline.com website as well as through the company’s growing network of university and employer relationships.
StraighterLine’s unique subscription model helps students take affordable online courses at their own pace no matter what stage of life they are in, or where they live. Students pay a low $99 per month subscription fee and may purchase as few or as many general education courses as they choose. Most of StraighterLine’s courses are priced at $59 including the eTextbook. Once a student completes a course, they can transfer the credit for that course to a partner college. StraighterLine has articulation agreements with nearly 150 accredited partner colleges and its courses are accepted for credit at more than 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide.
National Digital Inclusion Alliance: NDIA bridges the community of digital inclusion practitioners and policymakers with a unified voice advocating for broadband access, devices, digital skills training, and tech support. Working collaboratively, NDIA identifies, crafts, and disseminates resources and tools to help digital inclusion programs increase their impact. Visit www.digitalinclusion.org for more information.
Summer MartinDirector of Brand and Public Relations