NH Congressional Delegation Delivers $1.2 Million to White Mountains Community College to Boost Rural College Access
WMCC Partnering with Campus Compact for New Hampshire to Help At-Risk Students Afford Community College Classes
Concord, N.H. (June 29, 2022) – Recognizing the need to assist North Country families with the cost of higher education, New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation successfully worked on a bi-partisan bill to increase funding for efforts to help students pay for community college classes at White Mountains Community College. The $1,222,171 grant is part of the Rural Postsecondary and Economic Grant program offered at WMCC. The grant will support a new project to improve rates of postsecondary enrollment, providing students with education and job training to support college readiness and career mobility.
“Zip code should never determine students’ opportunities and access to higher education, but significant disparities often persist in rural communities,” said US Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “It’s why funding to support post-secondary education and job training for students in rural communities is so critical.”
“We must ensure that people in rural communities have access to higher education opportunities to help them thrive, which will also help meet the needs of businesses in these communities,” said US Senator Maggie Hassan.
The $1.2 million dollar grant bolsters an existing effort at WMCC to make college more affordable to families who struggle to pay for education. With this grant, WMCC and Campus Compact for NH (CCNH) will develop career pathways that align with high-skill, high-wage and in-demand industry sectors and occupations in the region. This student-centered program will utilize evidence-based approaches that increase the likelihood that students will earn a degree and enter the workforce. These strategies include a focus on social belonging and leveraging college partnerships to ensure students are college and career ready.
“The interest in taking our classes is very high, but for many families the economics simply don’t work without some extra assistance,” explained Dr. Chuck Lloyd, President of White Mountains Community College. “This grant will go a long way to close the financial funding gap between a student’s dreams and a diploma or certificate in a field of study at WMCC.”
“This grant reflects CCSNH’s strategy of supporting rural students in accessing New Hampshire higher education,” said Stephanie Lesperance of Campus Compact NH. “We are honored to be part of this important project honoring Granite Staters.”
“Programs like the one at WMCC help to strengthen our workforce and connect qualified applicants with hiring employers. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this project on our state and our economy,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster, of New Hampshire’s second district.
“Community colleges, including White Mountains Community College, play a vital role in training our workforce and helping families succeed and we must support investments like this to ensure every Granite Stater has access to a quality education that prepares them for the 21st-century economy,” said Congressman Chris Pappas of New Hampshire’s First District.
Historic factors have resulted in New Hampshire college graduates have among the country’s highest debt loads from student loans. This program is designed to alleviate the financial burden for families. It has proven to be successful in the state, granting access to higher education for students who would not have been able to afford college without this assistance.
About White Mountains Community College
White Mountains Community College (WMCC) is located in Berlin, New Hampshire with satellite campuses in Littleton and North Conway, and is one of seven colleges in the Community College System of New Hampshire. WMCC offers Associate Degree and Certificate programs, plus training options, preparing students for 21st century job opportunities as well as transfer pathways to four-year colleges and universities. WMCC is fully accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Courses offered at WMCC and across the Community College System of New Hampshire are the most affordable in New Hampshire, and our Littleton Academic Center makes us accessible to all students in the North Country region. Courses are available day, evening and online. WMCC courses transfer to four-year colleges and universities in New Hampshire and across the country. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the “65 by 25 Initiative,” which calls for 65% of NH citizens to have some form of postsecondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.
About Campus Compact for New Hampshire
Founded in 1997, Campus Compact for New Hampshire is a statewide consortium of college and university presidents and private sector partners who are united in their commitment to the civic purposes of higher education. Our mission is to be a catalyst to integrate community service and civic responsibility throughout the academic and student life goals of member institutions. www.compactnh.org