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19th May

2015

Great Collaboration

HIGHER EDUCATION

New help on way for onetime students

Partnership forms to help them return to Pueblo Community College

 

THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN

BY ANTHONY A. MESTAS

Three organizations and institutions are teaming up to help students at Pueblo Community College finish their education.

Quarterly Forum, the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative and PCC are partnering to support PCC students who may have taken courses in the past but failed to earn credentials.

Officials with the organizations said the partnership leverages a $1 million commitment from the Quarterly Forum over the next 10 years to infuse investment into high-needs communities and spark future philanthropic investments to support students pursuing postsecondary credentials.

As part of this commitment, the Quarterly Forum also is awarding a matching grant of $75,000 in scholarship dollars to students who enroll in Project ACCESS, an initiative created earlier this year through a partnership between Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pueblo, PCC and the Pueblo County Department of Social Services.

The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative will match that commitment.

Officials said the aim is to enable these students to complete a certificate or associate degree program by providing them with financial assistance.

The new infusion of scholarship dollars by Quarterly Forum will help up to 68 students pay for tuition and remedial course work and, if needed, help them overcome unpaid tuition costs so they can complete their degree at PCC.

The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative is a statewide initiative of Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“When our students work hard and prove they have the grit to succeed, there should be resources and support to help them earn a degree.” Hickenlooper said in a statement.

“This initiative is designed to foster exactly the kind of collaboration that we are celebrating
today. The Quarterly Forum is demonstrating real leadership by being the first to take advantage of this new fund.”

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, said there are a number of barriers closing the attainment gap in the state, not the least of which is the rising cost of higher education.

“This first scholarship project focuses on all the right elements to ensure that these students access, persist and complete a degree,” Garcia said.

Still in its early stages, Project ACCESS is expected to help about 310 marginalized young adults access the support they need to successfully pursue postsecondary education over the next two years More information about the Scholarship Initiative is available atcoloradoscholarshipinitiative.org. anthonym@chieftain.com

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