© 2024 WSIU Public Broadcasting
WSIU Public Broadcasting
Member-Supported Public Media from Southern Illinois University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Illinois Community Colleges receive Virtual Reality grant Funding

A master’s student in SIU’s criminology and criminal justice program works through a virtual reality scenario
Yenitza Melgoza
University Communications and Marketing
Jamie Stephens, a master’s student in SIU’s criminology and criminal justice program, works through a virtual reality scenario last fall of a call for service of a disorderly person at a residence with Kevin Cox, SIU Department of Public Safety, observing. The program is using the VR simulator to give students greater insight into law enforcement challenges and providing a research mechanism on attitudes toward police work.

The Illinois Community Board has awarded $766,000 to 12 Illinois Community Colleges to help implement virtual reality equipment into existing Career and Technical Education programs throughout the state.

Overall, the funding will allow recipients colleges to purchase VR hardware and software to recruit and instruct students in a variety of workforce training programs for industries including but not limited to healthcare, criminal justice, manufacturing, and HVAC.

The two-year grant program was passed by General Assembly and signed by Governor Pritzker in FY24. Individual grant amounts were awarded based on college program and equipment needs.

Two of the twelve schools award this grant include colleges from the Southern Illinois region John A. Logan College, and Rend Lake College.

Grant funding can be used to purchase VR hardware & software to expand or enhance current Career & Technical Education students recruiting practices using VR technology or start a new CTE program to include VR technology.

Brandon Jones is a student news contributor for WSIU Public Broadcasting located at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org
As a WSIU donor, you don’t simply watch or listen to public media programs, you are a partner. By making a gift, you help WSIU produce, purchase, and broadcast programs you care about and enjoy – every day of the year.