MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont high school seniors, facing continued uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will have access to additional support at the Community College of Vermont (CCV) next year. Thanks to a generous award from the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation, current CCV Early College students who matriculate at the College and enroll in two or more courses in summer or fall 2022 will receive a stipend to cover the cost of one class or the equivalent amount to be used toward other costs associated with college. Early College is a state-sponsored program that allows Vermont students to spend their senior year of high school enrolled as full-time college students. 

The grant aims to support CCV’s Early College cohort based on evidence that first-time college students who enroll in 12 credits are more likely to return for a second year and to earn a credential. “Early College students have the benefit of two semesters of full-time enrollment and already have at least 30 college credits,” says Natalie Searle, director of secondary education initiatives at CCV. “By removing barriers and encouraging students to continue full-time, we can help students maintain momentum while providing the financial aid and other supports necessary for degree completion.” Students who earn an associate degree by the end of 2023 will receive an additional $500.

The grant builds on funding awarded by the Vermont Community Foundation (VCF), of which the McClure Foundation is a supporting organization. This year, VCF is providing stipends and enhanced advising through its COVID-19 Response Fund for CCV Early College students pursuing workforce-ready certificate programs in cybersecurity fundamentals, graphic design, and IT service. 

“Both the McClure Foundation and the Vermont Community Foundation understand the value of early pathways to college and career training, and the vital role that CCV plays in closing opportunity gaps facing Vermonters,” said Carolyn Weir, executive director of the McClure Foundation. “We believe in the talent and potential of all young Vermonters and look forward to seeing where their college and career training paths lead them.”

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