Community College of Vermont will receive $350,000 grant

WINOOSKI  — The Community College of Vermont will receive $350,000 thanks to Vermont Student Assistance Corp’s $31 million, seven-year federal GEAR UP grant awarded in October.
The grant allows CCV, a longtime state partner with VSAC, to reach young Vermonters with information and opportunities for education and training after high school through a variety of initiatives, including dual enrollment, Introduction to College & Careers, middle school Access Days and a variety of service and work-based learning programs.
“Our continued partnership with CCV is great news for Vermont students and their opportunity to continue their education,” said Scott Giles, VSAC president and CEO. “This collaboration is an important part of our work to open the door of education to more Vermonters, particularly those who think the doors of education are closed to them. Access to education and training after high school is an essential component of reversing income inequality and creating career opportunities that will last a lifetime.”
“This grant will allow us to continue our work with VSAC to expand educational opportunities for Vermont students,” said Joyce Judy, CCV president.  “Our statewide presence and our strong commitment to serving all students, especially those who are low income, first generation, rural, and have disabilities, makes this a powerful partnership. 
 “We value our relationships in local communities and with regional and statewide organizations,” she continues. “Our long-standing partnership with VSAC has enabled us to serve a greater number of young students on their college and career pathways.”
Details of the partnership program for the coming year include:
•  Middle school Access Days. Over 35 schools statewide, serving 1,400 students in grades 6-9, will attend college for a day, with mock classes, student panels and conversations with faculty and staff.
•  Introduction to College and Careers. The course is taught at high schools, community centers and CCV academic centers and focuses on students in grades 8-10. The course has a proven record of reaching at-risk students, improving aspirations, participation rates, and college-readiness skills and increasing college conversion rates. CCV focuses outreach efforts in VSAC’s GEAR-UP schools and in other areas of the state where there are more barriers to college and career opportunities.
•  Vouchers for developmental skills courses. Vouchers will be offered for math, algebra, reading and writing courses for students who need additional skill development to succeed in high school courses and become college and career ready by their senior year.
•  Service learning and work-based learning. This service provides job shadowing, internship and apprenticeship opportunities within CCV’s secondary education programs and creates market pathways for students to earn industry-recognized credentials while enrolled in programs at CCV.
VSAC’s GEAR UP programming provides one-on-one and group counseling for Vermont students in grades 7 through the first year of college, including academic skill-building, study skills, class advising and tutoring as needed. Students receive information on career exploration, the college search and application assistance as well as in-depth financial aid information and help with submitting all aid forms. Students enrolled in the program also visit colleges and participate in summer programs.
VSAC’s GEAR UP students who enroll in education and technical training programs after high school are also included in the GEAR UP scholarship program, which reduces the total cost of students’ studies. More information on GEAR UP is at vsac.org.

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