N.C. Governor Roy Cooper made a stop at Alamance Community College on January 16 to announce important news about one of his signature initiatives, the Finish Line Grants program.
The Finish Line Grants program helps community college students who face unforeseen financial emergencies to complete their training. Every community college in North Carolina may participate in the Finish Line Grants program but is not required to do so.
The Governor last visited the ACC campus in January 2019 to promote this same program. ACC was among the first community colleges to kick off its Finish Line Grants program in fall 2018. As of January 7, 2020, the College had assisted 122 students with a total of 346 bills, resulting in $124,161.47 allocated to assist students through the Finish Line Grant program.
“I wanted to come back to Alamance Community College because they were ready to go when we started this program,” said Governor Cooper. “They started awarding grants right away in October of 2018. That’s, as we used to say in the country, like a duck jumping on a June bug.”
Brian Barringer coordinates the Finish Line Grants program at ACC, assisted by staff in the Student Success Office and Business Office. The College has partnered with the Workforce Development Board and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act staff to establish a joint process for reviewing and awarding funding requests from students.
The College partners with the local Workforce Development Board (WDB) and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) staff to establish a joint process for reviewing and awarding funding requests from students.
Governor Cooper participated in a press conference in the College’s Computer-Aided Machining Technology lab in the Advanced Applied Technology Center. He was joined by Dr. Algie Gatewood, ACC President; Peter Han, NC Community College System President; and James Bain, Director of Regional Partnership Workforce Development.
In addition, ACC students Rosalyn Chambers and Andrew Hann, who benefited from Finish Line Grant funding in order to stay in school, visited with the governor and told their stories during the press conference.
Rosalyn Chambers is studying Office Administration/Legal Concentration at ACC. Her career goal is to work in an area where she gets an opportunity to help other people and serve the community. She said Finish Line Grant helped her stay in school when an expensive dental procedure evolved for which she had no insurance. She had considered dropping out to get a job to save money. On the advice of a friend, Rosalyn met with ACC’s Barringer to apply for a Finish Line Grant. It also assisted her the following semester when she had a car repair bill. Now she is continuing to pursue her associate degree.
Andrew Hann is enrolled in ACC’s Associate in Nursing program. The Finish Line Grant helped him with several past due bills and car repairs. This allowed him to work fewer hours and concentrate on his nursing studies. He acknowledges he could not have stayed in school without the use of his car, for which Finish Line paid a major repair bill. Said Hann: “I greatly appreciate all of the assistance that I have received through the Finish Line Grant.”
Both Governor Cooper and NC Community College System President Peter Hans praised the leadership at ACC for helping students stay in school. Student retention and completion are vital to this College’s workforce development mission.
“Alamance Community College is on the move!” said NCCCS President Hans.