People who started their college degree but had to step away for life reasons and would now like to complete their program may be eligible for help thanks to a recent grant from the Lancaster County Workforce Division Board. Millersville University will receive $189,914 as a partner of the ACHIEVE project.
“Partnering with LCWDB and ACHIEVE will allow the University to address the inequities that students who must stop out of their degree program face, including higher unemployment and lower wages,” explained Dr. James Delle, dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Associate Provost for Academic Administration. “This grant will allow those students to finish their degrees and enter into the workforce with stronger support.”
The purpose of the grant is to help jobseekers re-enroll in educational programs through the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board’s ACHIEVE project. ACHIEVE is designed to assist Pennsylvanians who began studying in higher education for in-demand fields but had to leave their degree after two or three years.
In total, the PA Department of Labor and Industry awarded more than $6 million in grant funding to four local workforce development boards in the state.
As a part of the ACHIEVE project, the University is partnering with the LCWDB, the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce, PA CareerLink of Lancaster County, Elizabethtown College and the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. ACHIEVE ultimately seeks to help students return to higher education through various rapid credentialing strategies, including online and asynchronous accessibility and a network of support, including case management and career guidance.
From the University’s portion, $140,714 will be allocated to tuition assistance and cost of education support (such as textbooks or childcare costs) for about 15 returning students, provided outside of other financial aid.
The funding can be used to assist eligible students in any program, but outreach will primarily focus on recruiting students returning to complete their bachelor’s degree in social work, bachelor’s degree in education or associate degree in applied technology. There is a need in the community for these fields, and through the grant, students can earn their degrees and enter the workforce quickly.
Tuition assistance will also be available for students who are pursuing online degrees and certifications, including in the programs previously listed, which offer online courses.
“Combined with the robust student success network already in place at the University, the ACHIEVE grant will help returning students complete their programs efficiently and, in turn, provide Lancaster County with workforce-ready graduates,” says Delle.
To be eligible for the grant, students who left their program after May 2021 (two years ago or less) must be able to reenter their program and complete their degree by June 2024. This means the grant is recommended for students with 30 or fewer credits left to complete their degrees. Students do not have to have previously attended Millersville University but must have previous credits from an accredited university.
Interested students can contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office at Millersville University.