HCTC awarded $2.2 million federal grant, plans to expand service offerings | HCTC

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HCTC awarded $2.2 million federal grant, plans to expand service offerings

Media Contact: Wallace Caleb Bates
Coordinator of Public Relations
Office: (606) 436-5721

Jan. 17, 2024

Hazard Community & Technical College (HCTC) has received a $2.2 million grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education (USED), the largest amount announced in Kentucky among 2023 awardees. 

In a Dec. 22 press release, USED explained that funds from the Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development (RPED) grant program will assist HCTC in expanding its service offerings to students across its primary service region of Breathitt, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Owsley, Perry and Wolfe counties. 

One of 22 awardees in the nation, HCTC plans to use the grant dollars to implement a high school to post-secondary transition program, including Dual Credit Hubs at each high school and area technology center with college navigators to assist students in navigating the post-secondary landscape.  

“Dual credit students will have ready access to the same services that our on-campus students have in the comfort of their high schools through the development of these hubs,” HCTC Director of Dual Credit Jama Griffie said. “These grant funds will play a crucial role in serving students in our region by providing additional resources such as support staff, technology, workshops and more one-on-one advising.” 

The plans also include an online support system designed to provide wrap-around support services, incentives, tutoring and focused intrusive advising and coaching for online students.

“Our student success coaches provide a critical service to our online students through personal outreach. They help students tackle academic and non-academic barriers,” HCTC Chief Student Affairs Officer Dr. Deronda Mobelini said. “For example, a student may not know how to find a tutor, financial guidance or an academic advisor. The coach can provide that help or connect the student to designated experts who can assist.” 

Student success coaches’ efforts reflect HCTC’s goal to increase learner success by working to support students in a holistic manner. 

According to HCTC President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jennifer Lindon, rural students face unique needs as they pursue post-secondary educational opportunities. The institution will use the funds to provide professional development about those unique needs to faculty and staff. 

“Building upon our values of community, empowerment and innovation, HCTC will continue in its mission of bridging the gap between high school, college and career, far beyond the walls of our classrooms,” Dr. Lindon stated. “We are incredibly grateful to receive these funds. The services that we intend to expand and implement will increase access to opportunities for students at critical points in their journeys.”