When four community colleges decided to come together with the aim of offering new opportunities for their communities, the Rural Information Technology Alliance (RITA) was born.
“We wanted to pool the expertise and resources at all our colleges to prepare students for workforce success in high-demand information technology areas of IT, including networking, mobile applications, and cyber security,” says Michael Olesen, Director of the RITA Consortium.
The four-college consortium of Central Lakes College, North Central Texas College, Pine Technical and Community College, and Ridgewater College submitted a proposal for federal funding through the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program.
The proposal took a comprehensive perspective on the delivery of educational offerings to address the growing need in rural communities for skilled information technology professionals.
“We built an innovative model that takes into account the many factors that will help students prepare for career pportunities in the fields that support the economic development of our communities,” says Olesen.