WSCC RECEIVES GRANTS TO SUPPORT NURSING INITIATIVE
MARIETTA, OHIO— Washington State Community College (WSCC) was recently awarded $50,000 from the Sisters Health Foundation and $40,000 from The Bernard McDonough Foundation. The awards by the two local foundations support the advancement of the college’s Education and Advancement to Registered Nurse (EARN) pathway.
“Sisters Health Foundation and the Bernard McDonough Foundation have been long-time supporters of the health sciences programs at Washington State. We share a vision for strengthening our community,” said WSCC President Dr. Vicky Wood. “These contributions will go a long way to help us support our students and their academic endeavors. Our graduates will have good-paying careers and that’s vital to the economic wellbeing of this region.”
WSCC developed the EARN pathway in response to the increased demand, both locally and nationally, for registered nurses. The initiative, which involved a redesign of the college’s nursing education delivery model, rolled out in 2019 and helps students progress through the practical nursing program and then onto its associate degree nursing program while working in the healthcare field. Students in the EARN pathway benefit from a Success Coach who helps guide their success throughout their educational journey.
“This model has shown measured student success in the short period since it has been implemented,” said Wood. She explained that early success and targeted outreach have led to increased interest in the pathway. In fact, Washington State reached full capacity this fall for the new cohort of EARN students, bringing the total two-year enrollment to 36.
The grants, which will be paid over two years, will be used to support the addition of a second success coach. This new faculty member will work closely with the existing coach to provide individualized support and leverage the experience of second-year EARN students for peer mentoring as well as support the college’s efforts to expand to students and healthcare partners in West Virginia.
“Our foundation is pleased to award funding to Washington State Community College to expand the capacity of the EARN program as we value supporting a strong regional healthcare workforce,” said Renee Steffen, executive director of Sisters Health Foundation. “The success coach model is a great way to ensure students have the academic and social supports they need to thrive.
In 2018, as the College was developing EARN, the Bernard McDonough Foundation was among the first to support the pathway, contributing $50,000. Robert Boone, President of the Bernard McDonough Foundation said his organization is honored to continue to partner and assist with funding the EARN pathway. “We are in our third year of funding this program and feel with the shortage of nursing staff in the Mid-Ohio Valley that this program will provide individuals with lower-paying jobs the opportunity to earn more than they would otherwise be able to earn. This program is structured to guide and support underserved, low-income, first-generation college students, who often face unique challenges that can be barriers to success.”
For 50 years, Washington State Community College has fueled the community’s future through education. We work to make a positive impact by providing opportunities for growth. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to enrich your life, we cultivate pathways to guide you toward future growth. Be inspired. Be WSCC. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.
In the photo: On the left (front to back) are nursing students Hannah Blevins and Josiah Goldsberry. On the right (front to back) is nursing student Jennifer Carpenter, Kathleen Kammerer (Instructor), and Martha McCoy (Instructor).