Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) has established the NACC Community Scholarship program to help local residents train for a new career or return to college after an extended break. Many residents of DeKalb and Jackson Counties have been impacted by job loss and setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This program is funded through tuition NACC waivers and the NACC Foundation. The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) initiated this program to assist Alabama residents in recovering from the pandemic.
“This is set up for the 2021 Spring semester only,” NACC President Dr. David Campbell said. “It is really a great opportunity for someone to start a certificate, degree program, or to finish a program they had previously started.”
According to Sherie Grace, NACC’s Dean of Student Services, the deadline to complete the online application is Dec. 1, 2020. Standard admissions requirements apply, and all scholarship applicants must complete a 2020/2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible. Scholarships are awarded to individual students and may not be shared or transferred.
“This is a competitive scholarship that applies after all other sources of scholarships and grants have been exhausted,” said Grace. “Limiting the scholarship in this way will allow us to help the greatest number of students.”
The scholarship will cover a maximum of six (6) hours. For instance, if the student pays for six hours, the student will be eligible for a maximum of 6 hours of scholarship funding. The scholarship covers tuition only. Any fees are the responsibility of the scholarship recipient.
Chad Gorham, Interim Dean of Instruction, noted that scholarships are limited to the space available in existing Spring semester classes.
“These scholarships are an excellent opportunity for students thinking about starting college or who have been out of college for a while to accelerate their progress without breaking the bank,” said Gorham. “Think of it as a buy one, get one offer to help college to be more affordable during this pandemic.”
To obtain a scholarship under this program, the applicant must meet one or more of the specific criteria set forth by the College:
- Non-Traditional Age Student – Age 24 or older; new student or students who have not been enrolled at NACC within the past two years
- Dual Enrollment – Available to 10th grade new students; pay for one class, get the second one under this scholarship
- Success Plus Scholarship – Applicable to high-demand fields such as Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Engineering Technology, Industrial Systems, Machine Tool Technology, and more. Available to new students and student who have not been enrolled in NACC within the past two years. Scholarship funds may only be used to pay for technical courses.
- Career Tech Scholarship for Non-Traditional Gender Careers – In an effort to encourage students to enter non-traditional gender occupations, the college will offer a buy one-get one offer in selected fields, such as females in HVAC, drafting, and welding and males in child development, cosmetology, and massage. Available to new students and students who have not been enrolled in NACC within the past two years. Scholarship funds may only be used to pay for technical courses.
- Underrepresented Student Scholarship – Intended to encourage new students from underrepresented groups to start college or come back to college after a break, this scholarship will offer a buy one, get one model in any career path for underrepresented minorities. Available to new students and students who have not been enrolled at NACC within the past two years.
Dr. Mike Kennamer, Dean of Workforce Development at NACC, explained the rationale behind targeting these specific groups with tuition assistance.
“Gov. [Kay] Ivey’s Success Plus initiative strives to add 500,000 highly-skilled employees to Alabama’s workforce by 2025,” said Kennamer. “By offering these scholarships, the College is helping not only the Governor meet her goal, but also helping the local economy to prepare for what’s to come.”
“This is a gift from Northeast and the Alabama Community College System to assist our community,” Campbell said. “The College’s portion of the Community Scholarship program consists of tuition waivers, or an unfunded scholarship of tuition the College would otherwise receive.”
Campbell added, “We really appreciate our NACC Foundation providing actual funding for the Community Scholarship program. The NACC Foundation scholarships financially help both the student and the college.”
“The Foundation’s contribution to this program is aided in part by NACC’s own faculty, staff, and administration through a scholarship fund. Northeast personnel continue to prove their belief in the College’s mission and the benefits of continued education by putting their money where their hearts are,” said Campbell. “The work done for the College and the community by the Foundation and Director Heather Rice is so very valuable!”
Campbell concluded, “We hope that many of our citizens will take advantage of the Community Scholarship program. We are looking forward to being back on campus for the Spring semester with on-campus classes. Northeast will continue to offer plenty of online classes as well, and we are excited about the opportunity offered through these scholarships for many people in our community.