Women United, an affinity group of the Cape and Islands United Way, is proud to announce their newest initiative for 2020, which includes a scholarship and emergency assistance funds for students at Cape Cod Community College (CCCC).
The goal is to support the retention of students pursuing degrees working with children and families in two ways:
1) A $1,000 scholarship awarded at the College’s annual Evening of Excellence in May, and
2) $5,000 for an emergency assistance program aimed at preventing students in financial need from dropping out of their degree program and promoting retention by offering one time crisis-based assistance.
The majority of students at CCCC attend part-time, come from low-income families, and are academically underprepared. In fact, just under half of the students are economically disadvantaged as federally defined. In addition, these students are also continuing to experience challenges with basic needs, such as housing and food insecurity, mental health, and transportation.
Just under half of the students attending Cape Cod Community College are economically disadvantaged.
The number of students referred for resources has increased 254% since the spring 2014. During the 2018-2019 academic year, the school received 251 reports of students experiencing distress. Of those reports, 33 were for basic needs (food, housing, and transportation), 7 for medical, and 118 for psychological.
These students are continuing to pursue an education at CCCC, despite these significant life challenges. Often, students with unexpected financial crises and life challenges are at high risk for dropping out, but research has shown that students that receive emergency aid re-enroll at comparable rates to the average (Geckeler, Beach, Pih, & Yan, 2008).
Assistance will focus on supporting students in areas such as:
Educational materials (not otherwise covered like technology or lab fees)
This is time-limited support to help a student avert a crisis that will put them at high risk for dropping out. The average age of a community college student is 27, so they are balancing other life stressors not present in a typical 4-year college student.
Resources for ongoing support are available through the college’s Wellness Center
The college established other resources such as a satellite site of The Family Pantry of Cape Cod and a clothing closet as a response to student need.