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Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund


[Grants to Tribal Colleges] [Grants to Public and Private Institutions] [Technology Support] [FAQ] [More Information]

May 14, 2020

Under the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER Fund), the U.S. Department of Education (Department) will be awarding grant funds to Governor Walz for the purpose of providing schools, districts, institutions of higher education, and other education‐related entities with emergency assistance as a result of COVID‐19. Under the GEER Fund, the Office of Higher Education will be awarding $5.3 million to institutions of higher education.

The purpose of the GEER Fund is to provide emergency support through grants to institutions of higher education serving students within Minnesota that the Governor determines have been most significantly impacted by COVID‐19 to support the ability of such institutions to continue to provide educational services and support the ongoing functionality of the institution. GEER funds will support critical technology needs and continued operations at three Minnesota Tribal Colleges, and be award via competitive grant process to provide targeted support to programs and institutions ensuring equity in education, and technology and remote learning.

This emphasis balances the other CARES Act funding available to institutions under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF, $195 million estimated) for institutional use and student emergency grants. The GEER Fund application emphasizes the need for institutional flexibility in order to ensure they continue to provide educational services and institution on‐going functionality. Therefore, OHE will be distributing funds as follows:

Grants to Tribal Colleges

Leech Lake Tribal College, Red Lake Nation College, and White Earth Tribal and Community College will receive awards of $100,000 each to address critical technology need and ensure continued operations outlined above.

Competitive Grants to Public and Private Institutions

To ensure the emphasis on equity in education and technology and remote learning needs for underserved students, the remaining $5.0 million of higher education GEER funds will be awarded to public and private institutions under two funding areas:

  1. The need to support postsecondary faculty and teacher candidates, particularly from underserved communities, in adapting instructional resources related to teaching and learning as well as their own professional sustainability, including but not limited to:
    • professional development,
    • resources for faculty,
    • direct supplemental grants to teacher candidates,
    • support funds for teacher preparation programs,
    • support for partnerships with K‐12 and community‐based organizations,
    • support to develop mentorship programs for current teacher candidates to connect with current faculty and K‐12 teachers, and
    • incorporating equity‐driven resources into curriculum and instruction to respond to disruptions in learning due to COVID‐19.
      Priority will be given to programs serving students and/or faculty representing Minnesotans of color, indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and lower‐income persons.
  2. The need to fund supports related to technology and remote learning at the state's public and private institutions in support of lower‐income students, students of color, indigenous students, and students with disabilities.

Technology Support:

The following institutions have been awarded GEER Grant funding for projects related to equity in distance learning.

  • American Indian OIC, Technology Learning Project in Response to COVID-19
  • Augsburg University, Augsburg University Technology and Remote Learning Project
  • Bemidji State University & Northwest Technical and Community College Consortium, Northwoods Equity in Education and Technology for Underserved Students (NEETUS)
  • Carleton College, Technology to Support Equitable Education at Carleton College
  • College of St. Scholastica, Promoting Access to Resources and Instructional Technology for You (PARITY)
  • Finishing Trades Institute, Distance Learning System to Resolve Inequity for Access
  • Hennepin Technical & Community College, Equitable Technology Access for Students
  • Metropolitan State University, Preparing Urban Educators: Technology and Equity Driven Resources Amid COVID-19
  • Minneapolis College, Purple Pride Technology Access and Teaching Excellence Program
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato and Normandale Community College, Equitable Teaching in the Time of COVID-19
  • Minnesota West Community & Technical College, Remote Learning Resources in Nursing
  • Northeast Higher Education District, Vision Northeast Technology Solutions
  • St. Cloud State University, Fostering Connection during Digital Learning: Technology for Teacher Candidate

For additional project information, contact

For More Information

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If you have further questions, you can email the Office of Higher Education here.


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