A consortium led by Roane State Community College received a $12.6 million federal grant to offer more training for health care careers and help students finish their degrees, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Wednesday.
The announcement included $500 million in grants for community colleges and universities across the country. The Roane State consortium was one of 27 funded nationwide, Roane State President Gary Goff said in a press release.
The Roane State-led grant is called Rx-Tennessee. It’s part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, which promotes skills development and employment opportunities in various fields.
The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education, the press release said.
Goff said the grant is a great collaboration between Tennessee Board of Regents community colleges and technology centers. The money will help the colleges and technology centers collaborate and deliver health sciences education to more people.
“The grant is about sharing resources,” Goff said. “With the grant, we can purchase the technology and equipment to expand health sciences programs to more institutions and to more students.”
For example, the grant will support a collaboration between Roane State and Cleveland State and Chattanooga State community colleges to offer a two-year degree in occupational therapy assistant, or OTA. Roane State offers an OTA program, but Cleveland State and Chattanooga State do not, the release said. The three colleges will be able to use the grant to share resources and offer the program to students at each school.
In addition to Roane State, Cleveland State, and Chattanooga State, other consortium members are:
- Columbia State Community College,
- Dyersburg State Community College,
- Jackson State Community College,
- Motlow State Community College,
- Nashville State Community College,
- Northeast State Community College,
- Pellissippi State Community College,
- Southwest Tennessee Community College,
- Volunteer State Community College,
- Walters State Community College, and
- all Tennessee Technology Centers.
“This award is representative of the strong, quality programs our institutions provide,” TBR Chancellor John Morgan said. “It is an excellent example of how our TBR institutions collaborate to meet the needs of our students and our state, and I appreciate President Goff for his leadership on this project. By providing more training of the type we know is in demand, we will help increase the number of Tennesseans with quality credentials to continue strengthening our state’s economy.”
The grant also supports the Complete College Tennessee Act, the landmark 2010 state legislation designed to boost the number of Tennesseans with college degrees, the release said. For example, Rx-Tennessee includes funds for “completion coaches” to help students stay on track and finish their degrees and money for online tutoring and many other student support programs.
“The student support programs funded by the grant will be instrumental in helping Tennessee produce more college graduates,” Goff said. “Many community college and Technology Center students need guidance and support, and with the grant, we will have more resources to help students succeed in college.”