Grant to aid Columbus State at-risk students


Columbus State Community College is among 14 colleges and universities that received a combined $2.6 million in grants from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates to help at-risk students graduate.

The grant money will help implement a new program to help “near-completers” stay on track to complete their degrees, a news release states.

Columbus State received a Great Lakes College Completion Grant of nearly $156,000.

Students who fall short of graduation not only lack qualifications to meet employer needs, but without the earning power a credential or degree can provide, they often struggle with debt repayment.

The grant provides an opportunity for colleges like Columbus State to focus on at-risk students nearing completion and explore ways to help them stay on track. Great Lakes funds support the planning, launch and implementation of interventions at each school beginning this year.

Over the next two and a half years it will help a combined 7,000 students who have completed at least 75 percent of their program’s requirements in high-demand fields such as nursing, information technology and business.

At Columbus State, the first 25 students will be selected to begin the program and use its resources starting autumn semester 2017. They will work closely with tutors and career advisors.

Activities to boost college completion include:

• Addressing scheduling conflicts.

• Improving academic performance.

• Proactive advising.

• Additional financial support.

The College Completion Grant program is part of the mission of the grant provider.

“Given our philanthropic focus on advancing completion, we’re interested to see how these plans can positively impact graduation rates for low-income students, first-generation students and students of color,” Richard D. George, President and CEO of Great Lakes, said.

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