|BCC Receives Nearly $870,000 From the Commonwealth's SUCCESS Fund|
|12:11PM / Tuesday, October 12, 2021|
|The majority of BCC's SUCCESS funding will be spent on staffing, including hiring Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/Director of SUCCESS George Ambriz as well as four SUCCESS coaches and administrative support. |
PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Community College (BCC) has received an allocation of $869,377 from the state legislature as part of a $16 million fund distributed to all 15 community colleges in the Commonwealth.
The allocation is earmarked for the Supporting Urgent Community College Equity through Student Services (SUCCESS) Fund, which focuses on vulnerable populations. The funding, which was requested through the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges (MACC), covers the period through June 30, 2022, but will likely be renewed if the program proves successful.
The majority of BCC's SUCCESS funding will be spent on staffing, including hiring Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/Director of SUCCESS George Ambriz as well as four SUCCESS coaches and administrative support.
Remaining funds will be spent on student engagement initiatives and related expenses.
BCC has identified three major areas in which to improve: completion of a college-level math course within the first year, particularly by students of color; reducing the instances of students who earn zero credits in the first semester; and increasing the likelihood of students returning to school after completion of the first semester.
SUCCESS is designed to maximize collaboration among the Commonwealth's community colleges, identifying best practices and bringing those practices to scale rather than creating new initiatives, explained
"We're really good at working with marginalized populations, but now we have an amazing opportunity to figure out exactly what works, what doesn't, and how to serve our students better," Adam Klepetar, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management said. "We can share everything from project plans to budgets with our community college colleagues across the Commonwealth."
SUCCESS is primarily designed to serve vulnerable student populations, including first-generation, low-income, minority, disabled and LGBTQ+ students.
At BCC, approximately 500 students will participate in the program. Each student will be assigned a coach, who will focus on academic skills, socio-economic support, and housing and food insecurities. Each coach will manage a caseload and track interactions with their students. Field trips to four-year colleges and financial literacy workshops will be among the student engagement initiatives offered.
"We want to connect students with the resources they need to keep them on track so that they can meet or exceed their goals," Klepetar said. "It's our responsibility to create safe places and pathways for all students, but particularly those underserved in higher education. SUCCESS focuses on reducing equity gaps and racial justice."