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JCC Awarded $500K Community Schools Grant

Published on January 14, 2016 - Jefferson Community College (JCC) announced today, following notice from Governor Cuomo, that Jefferson is slated to receive a “Community College Community Schools” Grant of $500,000 over the course of three years. Jefferson is one of only three community colleges to be awarded the grant in a very competitive process. The grant initiative offered by SUNY is modeled after a successful K-12 Community Schools concept. Community schools seek to coordinate and maximize public, non-profit and private resources to deliver critical services to students and thereby increase student achievement.

The Jefferson Community School (JCS) will provide centralized, on-campus services to support the unmet health needs and the financial barriers faced by students and their families. In particular, services will benefit the College’s large population of student veterans, students with disabilities, and single parents. Sixty-eight percent of Jefferson students are ‘first-generation’ meaning neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree, 9% are veterans, 16% have a documented disability, and 15% are considered low-income. 

“We are absolutely thrilled by the Governor’s announcement,” said Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College.  “The funding provided through this grant allows Jefferson to provide increased services to our students that will improve their health and socioeconomic well-being, and ultimately help them to stay in College and succeed academically.”

“There are many non-academic factors that impose barriers to student success and their ability to persist in earning a college degree,” said Betsy D. Penrose, Jefferson’s vice president for students.  “This grant will help us remove those barriers by providing centralized access to services, provided by community partners, right here on Jefferson’s campus.”

Services planned for in the grant include mental health counseling, health exams, financial counseling, a food pantry, emergency child care, and assistance with transportation and tax preparation. Community partners include ACR Health, Planned Parenthood, the Watertown Vets Center, PIVOT, Credo Community Center, Treehouse Drop-in Child Care, Jefferson County Department of Social Services, City of Watertown, Watertown City School District, the Syracuse VA Medical Center, and the Jefferson County Workforce Development Board along with SUNY Brockport and Syracuse University.

With the support of community partners, Jefferson expects to expand some services to students beginning in the spring semester with full services becoming available in renovated campus space beginning in the fall 2016 semester.