The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded swift and unprecedented action on the part of CUNY and Hostos Community College. One of the areas requiring system-wide attention is distance education, and CUNY and Hostos are committed to a complete and equitable digital learning experience for all students. This required addressing the “digital divide” – the disparity that exists between the technological access available in under-resourced communities and what is needed to fully participate in educational opportunities. Laptops have been made available to students – but online instruction and course materials cannot be obtained without internet access.

Many internet and wireless service providers have generously offered free hardware and service to new subscribers during this crisis. Unfortunately, installation can take two three weeks due to high demand, and students without permanent addresses do not qualify for these services. Students who live in shelters and temporary housing already face enormous obstacles in their path toward higher education, and they deserve to have the resources needed for success.
To help ameliorate this situation, the Hostos Community College Foundation is collaborating with the College’s IT Department and a major cellular service provider to make wireless hotspots available for 50 Hostos students who lack internet connections. The Foundation has approved the required funding for this endeavor and classes, course materials, and supportive services will soon be accessible for the next six months at no cost to the individual users.
Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, and the Foundation and all at Hostos remain committed to the ideals and goals of the College’s founders: enabling student success. 
Together, we will find our way through this Pandemic to safer and saner times.
With my best wishes,
David Gómez, Ed.D.