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Montgomery College Secures One of Only Six U.S. Department of Education Basic Needs for Postsecondary Students Grants to Address Basic Needs Insecurities

College Awarded $973,741 over Three Years to Serve 1,500 Learners

The U.S. Department of Education announced $5 million in Basic Needs for Postsecondary Students Grant awards to six institutes of higher education across the country to address basic needs insecurities. The Montgomery College Social Resource Program: Nourishing the Mind, Body, and Spirit grant is fully supported by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) of the U.S. Department of Education with a grant of $973,741, which is 100 percent of the total cost of the project.

The Basic Needs for Postsecondary Students Grant is administered by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) of the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the Basic Needs for Postsecondary Students Program is to provide grants to eligible institutions of higher education to support programs that address the basic needs of students and to report on practices that improve outcomes for students. Information about this program is accessible on the FIPSE Web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/fipse/index.html.

Issues surrounding food insecurity, mental health, physical health, access to technology housing insecurity, and lack of eligibility for financial support have taken a toll on the academic progress of vulnerable and in-need underserved students at Montgomery College, especially as it relates to concentrating on their studies. When students’ basic needs are not met, there can be a negative impact on academic achievement.

Funding from the Basic Needs for Postsecondary Students award will support the expansion of Montgomery College’s (MC) Social Resource Program: Nourishing the Mind, Body, and Spirit (SRP), and will improve outcomes for underserved students by coordinating efforts with government agencies and community-based organizations that address basic needs insecurities. The project staff will connect a minimum of 1,500 underserved students to college and community resources for food assistance, health and mental health support, housing, transportation, childcare, dependent care, and technology. The target population includes: (a) students in poverty; (b) students of color; (c) members of federally recognized Indian Tribes; (d) students with disabilities; (e) students experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity; (f) students who are pregnant, parenting, or caregiving; (g) LGBTQ+ students; (h) first generation college students; (i) first-time adult college students; and (j) Pell-eligible students.

“We are grateful that the U.S. Department of Education continues to support Montgomery College in its mission to empower our students to change their lives,” said Dr. Charlene Dukes, interim president of Montgomery College. “By expanding services that address the basic needs of our students we can continue to close the achievement gap for students who traditionally have been disadvantaged in the world of postsecondary education.”

The Social Resource Program is part of Montgomery College’s ShAW Center in the Student Affairs unit. The SHaW Center was established in 2017 specifically to assist MC students with non-academic support to improve their academic success. The SHaW Center provides a comprehensive and radically inclusive model for supporting students’ basic needs by promoting and providing support for mental and physical well-being, thus leading to enhanced academic experiences and achievements. For more information, please contact Sue Haddad, Interim Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Sue.Haddad@montgomerycollege.edu.

 

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