Housatonic CommunityCollege Receives $1.3 Million For College Students Affected By Pandemic
Connecticut State Community College President John Maduko, M.D., joined Congressman Jim Himes today at Housatonic Community College to announce a $1.3 million award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).
The award is part of the final national distribution of COVID-19 pandemic relief fund education grants, which totaled $198 million as part of the American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden in March 2021.
“We are taking every measure possible to make sure our students have the support they need to successfully continue their studies,” said CT State President John Maduko, M.D. “Attaining a college degree is an important step in helping students change their lives, increase their earning potential, provide for their families and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities and state.”
Housatonic and Gateway Community College in New Haven, are among 244 colleges nationwide to be awarded in this HEERF final round, aimed at community colleges with the greatest unmet needs, and which serve a high percentage of diverse student populations.
At least half of the funding will provide direct relief to students which can be used for tuition, housing, transportation, food security and other needs so they can successfully continue their studies. The other half will be used for campus-based improvements such as outfitting classrooms with technology that allows better hybrid learning and interaction, air circulation upgrades and other resources for the campus such as food pantries.
“As institutions that serve a large number of minority and underrepresented students, we understand the challenges they have faced during the pandemic, balancing jobs and families while grappling with housing instability, tuition costs, food insecurity and other basic needs,” said Connecticut Community Colleges Shoreline-West Regional President Thomas G. Coley, Ph.D. The region includes the Housatonic, Gateway and Norwalk campuses. “The $2.9 million in funding that Housatonic and Gateway have received helps us remove barriers so that our students can stay on track, complete their degrees and build rewarding careers that meet industry and workforce needs.”
“These additional funds will not only help Housatonic enhance some of the services we offer our scholars, but hopefully encourage some of those who have been affected by the pandemic to come back to Housatonic this fall, even if their goals have changed since then,” said Housatonic Campus CEO Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.
Connecticut community college students received federal stimulus funds in 2021 in checks based on financial need, and through a separate $17 million debt forgiveness initiative to help keep those who are at greatest risk enrolled, including minority, first-generation and low-income students.
Connecticut State Community College (CT State) also announced this week that it has extended the deadline to August 15 for first-time college students to apply to any of the 12 community college campuses and be eligible for free tuition. First-time students must have graduated from a CT high school or GED program and be current CT residents to take advantage of PACT: Pledge to Advance CT funding. Even students who don’t receive other financial aid are eligible as long as they register for 6 credits.
Located in Bridgeport, Housatonic serves more than 3,000 credit students each semester, offering 80+ associate degrees and certificates that prepare students for transfer to four-year degrees and workforce training in areas with industry need.
Contacts: Ann Harrison, Director of Communications & Strategic Marketing, , Office: (860) 723-0637 Cell: (860) 578-7963
Melissa Lamar, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, , Office: (860) 773-1407
About Housatonic Community College Housatonic is among 12 community colleges in Connecticut merging in 2023 to become CT State Community College, one of the largest community colleges in the country and largest in New England, dedicated to quality, access and affordability. CT State students will be able to apply once and take classes at any campus. In addition to Housatonic, other locations include Asnuntuck (Enfield), Capital (Hartford), Gateway (New Haven & North Haven), Manchester, Middlesex (Middletown & Meriden), Naugatuck Valley (Waterbury & Danbury), Northwestern (Winsted), Norwalk, Quinebaug Valley (Danielson & Willimantic), Three Rivers (Norwich), and Tunxis (Farmington) Community Colleges.
Caption For Photo Above: PHOTO (L to R): U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, Housatonic Dean of Student Services Kim McGinnis, Ed.D., Housatonic student Megan Castleberry, Housatonic campus CEO Dwayne Smith, Ph.D., CT State President John Maduko, M.D., and Connecticut Community Colleges Shoreline-West Regional President Thomas G. Coley, Ph.D.