SC4 joins statewide basic needs initiative to support students

PORT HURON – St. Clair County Community College announced today that it will join a statewide initiative to help students connect with resources to support basic needs. The Michigan Community College Association was awarded a $442,000 grant to launch the initiative focused on improving student completion and success by addressing economic instability among students including access to food, housing, transportation, childcare and other basic needs.

The Michigan – Building Economic Stability Today (MI-BEST) effort is funded by a grant from the ECMC Foundation as part of its Basic Needs Initiative, designed to address and alleviate basic needs insecurity among students.

The initiative kicks off this month and continues through June 2022. SC4 will begin by forming a team of college personnel and community leaders in January.

National survey findings reported that 45 percent of respondents had been food insecure in the past 30 days, 56 percent had been housing insecure in the previous year and 17 percent had been homeless during that year.

“We know that the lack of access to basic needs is frequently the reason that students leave college,” said Erica Lee Orians, executive director of the Michigan Center for Student Success at the Michigan Community College Association, “SC4’s participation in this initiative is a critical component of our student success efforts.”

The Michigan Center for Student Success is leading the initiative for the MCCA and will partner with nationally-recognized organizations including the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement and Trellis Research along with Michigan-based organizations including the Michigan Association of United Ways, MiBridges, and Public Policy Associates to support Michigan’s participating community colleges.

“We have focused on a number of initiatives to improve student completion at SC4 and MI-BEST is another opportunity for the college to eliminate barriers to student success,” said SC4 Vice President of Student Services Pete Lacey. “We are grateful for the partnership from the ECMC Foundation and the Michigan Community College Association and their visionary leadership to address economic instability to improve student success.”

Other student needs and completion initiatives at SC4 include the Complete Your Degree Program as well as working collaboratively with Literacy and Beyond, which assists single moms with GED completion and helps provide support to enroll in college. The college also provides students with nutritional food options via free Skippers Snacks bins located around campus. 

The MCCA basic needs initiative was created in response to research from the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice (Hope Center), California State University, MDRC and the National Bureau of Economic Research, showing that basic needs insecurity is prevalent among students at two- and four-year campuses and impacts students’ persistence and graduation outcomes.

The Michigan Center for Student Success, founded in 2011, serves as a hub connecting leadership, administrators, faculty, and staff in their emerging and ongoing efforts to improve student outcomes, emphasizing linkages between practice, research, and policy. The Center has led statewide initiatives focused on re-engaging adults, developmental education, transfer, veterans, and advising. The Center is part of the 16-state Student Success Center Network working with over half of the community colleges across the nation.

ABOUT THE MICHIGAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE ASSOCIATION
The Michigan Community College Association fosters collaboration, connection, and partnerships among the 28 Michigan public community colleges and their stakeholders.  The MCCA provides strong legislative and public advocacy in Lansing and throughout Michigan, works to improve the image and credibility of community colleges, and advances numerous shared initiatives through the Michigan Center for Student Success, Michigan Colleges Online, and the Michigan New Jobs Training Program.

ABOUT ECMC FOUNDATION
ECMC Foundation is a Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation whose mission is to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations—through evidence-based innovation. It is one of several affiliates under the ECMC Group enterprise based in Minneapolis. ECMC Foundation makes investments in two focus areas: College Success and Career Readiness; and uses a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to invest in both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Working with grantees, partners and peers, ECMC Foundation’s vision is for all learners to unlock their fullest potential. Learn more about ECMC Foundation by visiting http://www.ecmcfoundation.org and ECMC Group by visiting http://www.ecmcgroup.org.

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