Three years ago, Bellevue College was the recipient of a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Labor. The grant finally reached its conclusion last week after funding many new college programs and helping BC become what it is today.
Dr. Kevin McCarthy announced the completion of this grant in an email sent out on June 30. In his email, he wrote about what the grant has done for BC.
As BC grew over these last few years, this grant, designed by the federal government to support community colleges in training local residents for jobs, helped fund many of the college’s new programs, such as the addition of bachelor’s degrees.
With the help of this grant, BC is now a four-year college. Two new Bachelor of Arts and Science (BAS) degrees were added: Medical Dosimetry and Radiology Assistant. McCarthy wrote, “New curriculum was developed, and the grant funded the purchase of $350 thousand in equipment: state of the art Digital X-Ray equipment and a Medical Dosimetry Treatment Planning System.”
In addition to the BAS degrees, it helped the Health and Wellness Center on campus expand its nursing program by adding funds that allowed more students to attend, increased the quality of the lab equipment, and funded a larger and more experienced staff. McCarthy, who works in this program, wrote, “Students in our Certified Nursing Assistant program also benefitted from grant-funded teaching assistants and tutoring support in academics and ESL.”
The grant also funded certification programs for Imaging Aide, Nursing Assistant, and Health Informatics, none of which were previously offered.
According to McCarthy, after paying to enhance academic opportunities, 550 students completed training in a grant-funded program, and 751 students were served in the 1852 hours of tutoring and academic assistance provided for those benefiting from grant-funded programs. Almost five thousand high school students were reached through presentations and school visits.
The grant is called a Community-Based Job Training (CBJT) grant, a contribution from a $125 million community college scholarship pool in the US Department of Labor. The process for receiving a grant is highly competitive, as most community colleges are eligible for one.
According to the US Department of Labor website, the amount of money awarded ranges from $500 thousand to $2 million. Applications are evaluated by committees, and funds are given to projects that are deemed to support or create community college programs that train individuals for careers in today’s high-demand industries and lowered economy.
Now that the grant has ended, some positions it funded will be eliminated, but all it has done for the college over the last three years will remain.
The work accomplished by the grant was so successful that the Department of Labor’s regional office in San Francisco plans to nominate BC for the best usage of the grant.