HCC Leverages GEER Funding to Facilitate Workforce Development Opportunities in the Midst of COVID-19
With support from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, Howard Community College now offers specialized workforce education scholarships available to students in need of financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The scholarships cover tuition and fees for eligible students enrolled in select credit and noncredit courses during the spring, summer, or fall 2021 semesters.
“We have opted to utilize the majority of the funding that was allocated to HCC for direct student aid,” said Minah Woo, associate vice president of continuing education and workforce development. “COVID-19 has impacted students in so many ways, and this program aims to give them some relief. It allows us to offset some of the costs associated with education, opening new doors for students to earn industry-recognized certifications and licensures that may help them in their searches for new and better job opportunities.”
The college is offering three credit certificate programs eligible for GEER Fund scholarships: Event Management – Hospitality Management, Certified Bookkeeping, and Cyber Forensics Technology. In addition, the first two courses that train aspiring emergency medical technicians are also eligible.
The list of eligible noncredit courses is extensive, with most courses within early childhood education and childcare, health care, and information technology. Other noncredit courses that are offered include such topics as logistics technician, commercial driver’s license learner’s permit, family mediation: child access training, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)-certified professional test preparation, and a project management professional (PMP) certification exam preparation.
HCC is one of 16 community colleges across the State of Maryland to receive GEER funding. Based on need, students may qualify for additional funding to cover costs for textbooks, childcare, and transportation. In addition, the college offers loaner laptops and hotspots for students who need technology to participate in classes.
“We are working hard to make sure both prospective and current students are aware of these programs and taking advantage of the resources that we have available,” said Woo. “Our lives have been drastically changed by the pandemic, and education can serve as the bridge to better career opportunities and a brighter future.”
GEER grant funding is available for use by December 30, 2021 (tuition and fees covered by GEER funding must be applied before that date). For more information and a complete listing of eligible courses, including descriptions, please visit howardcc.edu/geerfund.