COVID-19: Michelson Programs & Support

Michelson 20MM is committed to helping students, faculty, and administrators as we all struggle to adapt to and, not just survive, but thrive in the new normal abruptly created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please stay in touch as we continue to roll out new response programs, our webinar series, a COVID-19 focused round of Spark Grants, and more.  

Sign Up For Updates


COVID-19 has exacerbated already tenuous circumstances around emergency student aid, digital divide issues, and the deployment of online education programs. Michelson 20MM will continue our work in these areas with three new targeted programs.
Please click where appropriate below if you’d like
to get involved or learn more. 

Improving Emergency Student Aid Distribution

College students face rising unmet needs and possess less financial strength than ever before. At least one in three college students is at risk of food insecurity, and one in ten experience homelessness. Millions of students drop out each year due to a time sensitive financial crisis of less than $500. COVID-19 has dramatically increased our need to support the most vulnerable students at this time.

There are a growing number of programs for distributing emergency aid in higher education, but there’s a complete lack of standardization across institutions. This makes it difficult to deliver emergency aid effectively.

What We’re Doing

To help colleges and universities improve the delivery of emergency funds to students in need we have partnered with The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University and Edquity, a mission driven platform making emergency fund disbursements more efficient.

If you’d like to help students in need at your district or campus, contribute financially to the cause, or learn more about how we can help during this crisis

Closing the Digital Divide

In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the Los Angeles Community College District, as well as many other campuses, transitioned to a remote learning model of instruction on March 30, 2020. This transition has shone a light on the gap between those who have access to computers and the internet and those who do not.

What We’re Doing

In an effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on LACCD students during this transition, the Michelson 20MM Foundation has joined the LACCD Foundation and other funders to provide refurbished Chromebooks to 3,000 LACCD students. The partnership includes nonprofit Human I-T who has been selected to provide the pledged devices, low-cost high-speed internet, and IT support services to students in need.

If you’d like to sponsor a student to get online to access remote classes for less than $100, coordinate a donation of your company’s devices, or learn more about our Digital Divide initiative

Accelerating Online Education

COVID-19 has forced higher education institutions to move to digital environments with little notice leaving faculty scrambling during the transition. These temporary shifts have made it clear that a long term digital strategy will be essential to the future of every college, but according to Educause data, only 42% of institutions have an information-technology business-continuity plan to facilitate remote learning operations. This is unacceptable. While remote learning pivots will suffice for now, colleges will need to improve and guarantee the delivery of quality online education.

What We’re Doing

Education delivery will be permanently altered in the face of the pandemic. To chronicle the online learning transformation underway we have supported MIT Open Learning. Their research will draw lessons on achievements and challenges made during this unprecedented time to compile best practices and policies that support the future of online education.

If you’d like to host a webinar to support faculty during this transition, share helpful resources and provide direct mentorship, or learn more about our Online Education initiative

Spark Grants

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing issues in higher education and placed already vulnerable students in even more pressing and precarious situations. In response to this global public health crisis we are committing additional funds to advance efforts for addressing the needs of postsecondary organizations scrambling to support our students.


We have partnered with OpenStax on a series of webinars to support instructors as they transition online today and prepare for the fall semester using open educational resources. They will provide an immediate pathway for faculty members to take their courses to a new level, while maintaining a meaningful educational experience for their students. Hear from our founder Dr. Gary K. Michelson about why we feel this support is so critical now.

Sign up to receive updates about our COVID-19 support efforts