The John M. Belk Endowment in Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced nine grants totaling $9.6 million to community colleges and supporting organizations in the state to boost the number of students who complete degrees.
The grants include $7.75 million over three years to Single Stop in support of training, technology, and comprehensive case management for students, including benefits screening, legal counseling, tax preparation, and financial coaching; $550,000 to the Aspen Institute, which will share information with select community colleges in the state on how it gathers data, conducts site visits, and provides feedback in its evaluation process for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence; and $525,000 to North Carolina State University in support of a partnership with Aspen to develop community college leadership programs and new curricula and resources.
Other recipients include Brunswick Community College, which will receive $150,000 to encourage students who have completed some college to return to complete their workforce credential or degree; Davidson Community College, which was awarded $175,000 to create new branding and marketing materials designed to reach and attract students; Degrees Matter!, which will receive $125,000 to increase the number of adults with college degrees in the greater Greensboro/High Point area; the Foundation for the Carolinas, which was awarded $100,000 to research and compile a menu of postsecondary education programs in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area; NC Works, which will receive $200,000 to attract people to education and training programs focused on high-demand jobs in the state's new regional prosperity zones; and Achieving the Dream, which was awarded $50,000 to sponsor the participation of ten community college presidents in a national leadership symposium that will study ways to help students complete college with a credential that leads to a good job.
"The John M. Belk Endowment recognizes community colleges play a vital role in getting more North Carolinians into family sustaining jobs," said the endowment's executive director, Kristy Teskey. "In a state with America's third largest community college system, the Endowment will continue to invest in their efforts to get more students through credentialing programs equipped with skills they need to excel in the jobs of tomorrow."