RCC Awarded $1.5 Million from U.S. Department of Education

Rappahannock Community College awarded a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education

Hutt Williams and Student at 2021 Commencement

Coordinator of Dual Enrollment, Hutt Williams, congratulates a high school dual enrollment senior on receiving her degree at RCC’s May 2021 commencement.

Rappahannock Community College (RCC) was awarded a $1,536,345 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. One of 62 awards across the nation, and the only one to a community college in Virginia, the grant will support RCC’s efforts to build institutional resilience to respond to current and future pandemics as well as expand educational opportunities for students.

Through the grant, RCC will invest at both the College and the region’s secondary school partners. The project will include short-term strategies to address the immediate technology and online access needs of the RCC student body and will implement improvements in online instructional delivery to ensure a safe and quality learning experience. Long-term strategies will focus on dual enrollment in our secondary schools, building the capacity of the schools to deliver dual enrollment instruction to all students at an affordable cost.

The largest investment will be in creating college pathways for students in high school through dual enrollment, with 46% of the funds supporting training, recruitment, and instruction for dual enrollment. RCC partners with 14 public school divisions and one private school to offer students the opportunity to complete college course work while still in high school. The budget also includes investments to support student online learning, including faculty training, equipment and technology purchases, technical support, and educational coaching.

“This grant will ensure the area’s high school and college students have access to high quality instruction despite any unforeseen disruptions caused by a national health crisis,” RCC President Shannon Kennedy explained. “The grant also furthers our ability to support our high school partners in preparing students for college and career.”

The 2020 Institutional Resilience and Expanded Postsecondary Opportunity (IREPO) Grants Program of the U.S. Department of Education is funded under section 18004(a)(3) of the CARES

Act and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). The program provides financial support to institutions of higher education (IHEs) with the greatest unmet needs related to coronavirus to enable them to resume operations, serve the needs of students, reduce disease transmission, and develop more resilient instructional delivery models, such as distance learning, to continue educating students who cannot or choose not to attend classroom-based instruction due to coronavirus.

Classes for the fall 2021 semester begin on August 30, 2021. Navigators are available to assist students through the application and enrollment process. Email advisor@rappahannock.edu to schedule an appointment. More tuition assistance is available for fall courses than ever before. Call 804-333-6730 to learn more.