North Carolina Announces $34 Million Grant Program to Fund College Summer Schools | North Carolina

(The Center Square) – North Carolina is offering $34 million in college summer school grants and funding for K-12 programs that address learning loss and needs in mental health.

Governor Roy Cooper last week announced $34 million in new federal funding that North Carolina officials are allocating to a range of educational programs to help students continue to recover from the pandemic.

The governor has earmarked the largest sum — $27 million — to create a Summer Accelerator grant program that will provide tuition assistance to students taking summer classes to accelerate or stay on track. towards graduation.

The program will provide grants of up to $5,000 to cover tuition, fees, books, housing, and other expenses based on the number of summer courses students attend. The scholarships are open to North Carolina residents working towards their first college degree or credential and will be available for the summers of 2022 and 2023.

“Many of the jobs of today and tomorrow require a degree or diploma beyond high school,” Cooper said. “This funding will help students who have lost ground during the pandemic get back on track to graduating and support K-12 students who need mental health support.”

The Summer Accelerator program will provide grants to the UNC system, the NC Community College system, and independent colleges participating in state need-based grants through the State Education Assistance Authority. The UNC system will receive $16.3 million in funding, while the other entities will each receive just over $5.3 million.

“For community college students balancing work, family, and college, Summer Accelerator scholarships provide a lifeline to shorten their time to graduate and enter the workforce,” said Thomas Stith, president of NC Community. College System. “These grants are critical, especially at a time when our 58 large community colleges across the state help fuel the job engine and growth of North Carolina’s economy.”

Other aspects of the funding envelope include $5 million to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to expand youth mental health first aid training. The training teaches adults who work with young people, such as teachers and school staff, how to identify and support young people between the ages of 12 and 18 who are experiencing mental health and addiction issues and how to help in crisis situations. .

“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased mental health and addiction issues for many North Carolina residents,” said DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley. “Recovering stronger from this pandemic together means prioritizing the behavioral health and well-being of our children and families. We are grateful for this investment in both areas that supports early intervention programs that will make a critical difference in the lives of many adolescents.

Another $1.7 million will go to the North Carolina Business Committee for Education to expand the Tech Team initiative, a student technology assistance program that provides students with information technology training to earn recognized certifications. by employers.

The North Carolina Education Corps (NCEC) will also receive $726,000 to help accelerate the learning resumption of public school students through one-on-one or small-group literacy tutoring by corps members.

“The funding will be used to reimburse the NCEC for expenses incurred to recruit, train and place tutors in North Carolina public schools since July 1, 2021 and to plan for the possible expansion of math tutoring during the school year. 2022-23,” according to a press release from Cooper.

The NCEC was established in the fall of 2020 as an independent, nonprofit partnership between the North Carolina Board of Education, the governor, local schools, and the State Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.

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