Federal Grant To Empower Underrepresented High School Students To Start College Early

By: Follow South Jersey Staff

Photo credit: Salem Community College Facebook page.

CARNEY’S POINT, N.J. — Salem County high school students will soon have an opportunity to earn college credits at Salem Community College (SCC) through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help empower underrepresented Salem County high school students.

SCC received the $398,100 competitive grant through the N.J. Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, which awarded about $28.5 million in federal resources to 35 colleges and universities through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funding.

SCC’s newly created CollegeIMPACT program (Increasing Motivation, Persistence & Achievement through the College Transition) will initially offer dual enrollment (high school and college) for 40 Salem County students over the next two academic years. SCC will collaborate with Salem County school districts to identify the students who will have the opportunity to earn up to 24 college credits before high school graduation. The grant will cover the students’ tuition and fees.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exasperated the challenges of our less-resourced students, necessitating an equitable approach in increasing access to higher education and improving the lives of Salem County’s residents,” SCC President Michael Gorman said. “In particular, the program’s focus on the free- and reduced-lunch high school population provides access to students who might normally be unable to participate.

“We, as Salem Community College, where community is literally our middle name, look to engage students and provide exceptional learning opportunities to change their lives,” Gorman continued.

Through the grant, SCC will establish a college transition team consisting of two employees, and high school guidance counselors with data tracking to maximize student success. The transition team will offer advising and career services in coordination with the participating school districts and other community partners.

For more information on CollegeIMPACT, contact program director Joe Pritchett at 856.351.2648 or jpritchett@salemcc.edu.

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