COLORADO SPRINGS — Pikes Peak Community College and PPCC Foundation have been awarded two grants totaling $4.6 million from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative to help with economic recovery.
PPCC will add $900,000 of federal relief funds from the American Recovery Plan Act of 2021 to the effort.
The "Finish What You Started Scholarship" will receive the largest of the funding. It is for Coloradans who nearly completed college with at least 30 credit hours, but haven't achieved a degree. Participating students will receive $1,250 per semester to fund direct educational expenses and will work with student success coaches to help them in their academic journey. There is also funding for the forgiveness of PPCC debt and other one-time expenses related to enrolling.
The remaining funds will be used for the "Back to Work Scholarship" which will support those displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic, including those laid off or furloughed, who experienced decreased earnings, had job offers rescinded, or could not enter the workforce because of adverse economic conditions.
“Over the next five years, these PPCC programs will support nearly 1,500 Pikes Peak region residents to skill, reskill, or upskill in high-demand fields like healthcare, education and information technology," said Sen. Paul Lundeen, a member of the Colorado Senate Education Committee. "The shortage of available workers is a serious drag on our industries and businesses – and ultimately on the economic success of our region.”
"Basically from when you walk through the door to when you get the degree, we have wrap-around support to help students be successful. We know particularly for adults, why are we doing this, what do I need to do, how do I get there," said Lisa James, Executive Director of PPCC Foundation.
The scholarships will focus on lifting low-income state residents (age 25 or older) who are pursuing degrees and certificates aligned with the greatest workforce needs of our region, with an emphasis on healthcare, education, and information technology. The degrees and certificates to be supported are aligned with Colorado’s Top Jobs.
Applications for the "Finish What You Started Scholarship"open November 1st. The application for the "Back to Work Scholarship" is open just for PPCC students, but will open to the community in the spring.
For more information visit their website.