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Academic sponsorship program aids low-income students at HCC Stafford campus

The George Foundation donates $300,000

HOUSTON, TX [May 16, 2012] – Because of the cost of higher education, obtaining additional support for low-income students is critical. The George Foundation is extending access to educational support to students in Fort Bend County through the launch of Capital IDEA at Houston Community College’s Stafford campus. The $300,000 gift will provide academic sponsorship for up to 40 HCC Capital IDEA students starting in fall 2012.

“The project aligns closely with The George Foundation’s mission to benefit the citizens of Fort Bend County and build economic security for vulnerable children and their families through sustained income and asset accumulation achieved through education,” said Dee Koch, grant officer for The George Foundation.

Funding constraints, time limitations and lack of resources are all potential barriers to a student’s participation and completion. Low-income students who must work during their academic careers are less likely to complete their studies. Many face not only financial challenges, but also those posed by families who do not understand the impact of education on an individual’s life-time earnings. Capital IDEA at HCC Stafford will provide selected HCC students the support they need to devote their energies and time to their education.

Capital IDEA provides broad, comprehensive support for program participants—funding the full cost of books, fees and tuition for selected, income-qualified participants. All participants are served by professional case managers while enrolled in college and in the program. The program also helps with child care costs and works with its graduates to find employment with good salaries, benefits and opportunity for career growth.

“The George Foundation has been a steadfast supporter of HCC students in Fort Bend County, and this further commitment to student scholarship and success will continue to be a source of hope and opportunity for hundreds of people facing seemingly insurmountable barriers to their education,” said HCC Chancellor Dr. Mary S. Spangler.

The majority of Capital IDEA participants require one or more developmental classes in math, English and writing. Funds received from The George Foundation will enable HCC to establish a Developmental Academy at HCC Southwest’s Stafford campus.

The Stafford campus is the largest in the HCC district, both in terms of enrollment and size. At more than 70 acres, it has grown to serve nearly twice the enrollment of other HCC campuses, largely due to the rapid growth of southwest Houston over the last 20 years. With all-around programs for core academics, workforce training and continuing education, enrollment is projected to increase substantially in the coming years.

Capital IDEA at HCC began at the Southeast College with a grant received from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation—the first-ever awarded to a community college as part of its Family Economic Security Initiative. Through funds received with this grant, HCC is already making a critical difference in the lives of students who might not otherwise have an opportunity to achieve a college education.

About Capital IDEA
Formed through the efforts of The Metropolitan Organization (TMO) and the Houston business community in cooperation with Houston Community College, Capital IDEA serves the community by acting as a bridge, connecting committed, yet underemployed people to employers in need of highly skilled workers. The vision of Capital IDEA is that every adult working for low wages will have a genuine opportunity to succeed in post-secondary education and to start a high-paying career. To learn more go to capitalideahouston.org.

About HCC
HCC is one of the country’s largest singly-accredited, open-admission, community colleges offering associate degrees, certificates, workforce training and lifelong learning opportunities for more than 75,000 students each semester. HCC is composed of six colleges that serve the greater Houston area’s diverse communities by preparing individuals to live and work in today’s increasingly international and technological society. To learn more go to hccs.edu.

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