Education, Scholarships & Tuition Assistance

Special Series on Education: Fort Scott Community College Awarded Grant

From FSTribune.com, Jason E. Silvers, 28 Jun 2011.

[Fort Scott, KS] — The Fort Scott Community College Board of Trustees heard news of a new grant the college has received this year that will help students of migrant families attend college.

FSCC Associate Dean of Grants and Institutional Advancement Cindy Bartelsmeyer told the board about the new Five-year College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) grant the college has been awarded that will begin July 1. The federally funded program recruits students from Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas and provides financial assistance and other individualized services to qualified students.

The goal is to help students succeed in completing their first year of college and the grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Migrant Education, Bartelsmeyer said.

“We’re really excited about this,” Bartelsmeyer said. “I’ve applied for this grant four or five times in the past, so this shows me that persistence does pay off.”

Bartelsmeyer said FSCC will receive a $448,308 allocation during the first year of the grant. Staff has a goal of helping at least 85 percent of students in the program enter into their second year of college.

Support services provided through the funding include help with application processing for admissions, financial aid, housing and other services, personalized tutoring, academic advising and career counseling, a mentoring program and student advocacy, health services, cultural activities and campus visits, transportation, child care and stipends, and transitional services for continuing CAMP students.

To be eligible for CAMP, students must meet one of the following criteria:

* Either the student or parent/guardian has engaged in migrant or seasonal farm work for at least 75 days within the last two years.

* Has been eligible for the Title IC Migrant Education Program; or,

* Has qualified for the National Farmworker Jobs Program.

Applicants must also have a high school diploma or GED, and must be either a U.S. citizen or a qualified resident alien eligible for federal public benefits.

Tri-State CAMP has four satellite college sites including FSCC. Other sites are Seward County Community College in Liberal, Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Okla., and University of Arkansas Community College in Morrilton, Ark.

The grant program is similar to the Tri-State High School Equivalency Project (HEP) that has been in place at FSCC the last 10 years. Bartelsmeyer also announced Monday that grant will be funded for an additional five years beginning July 1. HEP helps migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their immediate family members obtain GEDs, find employment, enter a postsecondary institution or the military.

Bartelsmeyer said HEP must serve a minimum of 90 students each year. Last year, there were 113 students in the FSCC program and 84 of those students received GEDs. This year, there are already 61 students prepared to earn GEDs and about 20 more expected before the grant concludes at the end of September. The program serves students in Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

About 90 percent of students served speak Spanish, Bartelsmeyer said.

Source: FSTribune.com, “FSCC awarded grant” by Jason E. Silvers, 28 Jun 2011.

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