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Agnes Scott Receives $1M in Federal Funding to Prepare Students for Global Workforce 

Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) Visited the College on March 21 to Deliver the Good News

Decatur, Ga. – As part of the $1.7 trillion 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill, Congress is aiding more than 500 colleges and universities nationally, including Agnes Scott. The higher education funding (now known as “congressionally directed spending” in the Senate and Community Project Funding Grants in the House) provides funding to address various needs institutions face nationwide. Agnes Scott College has been awarded $1 million to enhance the college’s technological capacity to promote digital literacy, community engagement, professional success and global learning among future women leaders–many of whom are from underrepresented backgrounds.  

At an event held at Agnes Scott on Tuesday, March 21, Representative Williams presented President Leocadia I. Zak with a novelty check for $1,024,940 to support digital literacy at the college. With this funding, Agnes Scott can make a leap forward in enabling students to engage with cutting-edge technology and maintain its reputation for innovation. 

Congresswoman Nikema Williams speaks into a microphone. The congresswoman points with her left hand in the direction of an Agnes Scott College banner.
March 21st, 2023; Congress Woman Williams visits Agnes Scott. (Adam Hagy)

“Agnes Scott’s innovative SUMMIT curriculum is changing the way our students experience college,” said Leocadia I. Zak, president of Agnes Scott. “Digital learning is a core tenant of the SUMMIT experience. This funding will allow us to elevate how we prepare our diverse student body with the digital skills they need to thrive in the workplace in Georgia and beyond. We are extremely grateful to Representative Nikema Williams for recognizing the need for digital literacy and submitting our request.” Senator Raphael Warnock also supported the funding request.

“The pandemic has shown us how important our digital infrastructure is for small businesses and for education. I want Georgia’s communities to benefit from and shape the rapid developments in our digital economy. For that, we need colleges that provide equitable access to digital technology and the right curriculum to support digital literacy. Agnes Scott College offers both elements in an exemplary way and I am proud to support their efforts.”

Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said: 

“I am grateful to represent and partner with Agnes Scott College to meet the needs of students. When thinking about what we went through during the pandemic, it is clear why this Community Project Funding Grant is necessary. We all had to get creative with education–I had to teach virtual kindergarten. College students need that same access to technology to study and stay safe. Future classes of Scotties will benefit from this grant as they continue to change the world.”

After COVID-19 disrupted traditional learning environments at the college in 2020, Agnes Scott was forced to pivot to be more digitally centered. The pandemic presented the opportunity to reimagine Agnes Scott’s responsibility to promote digital equity and offer a future-oriented curriculum in an increasingly digital world. 

Agnes Scott’s goals in receiving funding are: to prepare its students with the career-relevant digital skills needed to be agile and successful at organizations and businesses both locally and globally, strengthen the college’s ability to facilitate meaningful collaboration with other institutions of higher learning and external organizations, and to positively engage more Georgia-based community partners who share in the value of developing the next generation of women leaders.

The funds will directly support the establishment of new high-technology classrooms focused on project-based learning initiatives as part of the college’s SUMMIT curriculum. This will also include improved technology resources and laboratories for the Center for Digital and Visual Literacy, which assists students in developing their technical and digital skills. 

About Agnes Scott College

Agnes Scott empowers diverse women of every identity to claim their place as leaders in our communities, workplaces and world. Ranked No. 1 Most Innovative Liberal Arts College for the fifth year in a row, No. 1 for First-Year Experiences and No. 3 for Best Undergraduate Teaching and Study Abroad by U.S. News & World Report in its 2022-2023 Best Colleges edition, Agnes Scott is a premier institution known for SUMMIT, its signature approach to a liberal arts education focusing on global learning, leadership development and professional success.  Learn more