8 Alabama HBCUs to share $500,000 grant to help students

Published: Jun. 26, 2023 at 8:50 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey says she expects Alabama to have 500,000 college graduates by 2025. Now, two organizations have partnered to help ensure that students at historical and predominantly Black community colleges have the same opportunities as most institutions.

Those organizations are the Los Angeles-based ECMC Foundation and the education nonprofit Alabama Possible.

ECMC Foundation is investing $500,000 to help make sure students in underserved communities reach their career goals. The money will go to grants for eight historically Black or predominantly Black community colleges, now known as the “Great Eight.”

Alabama Possible Executive Director Chandra Scott said improving Alabama’s numbers for career success among underserved populations will help break generational cycles of poverty.

“Really the goal is just increasing completion. We want to increase enrollment and make sure they persist, and make sure they complete, and make sure the institutions and the leadership of the institutions have the resources they need to continue to do the amazing work that they already do,” said Scott

The money will go toward providing educational and technological tools, plus changing policies to better align with the institutions students and staff, along with providing other resources such as mental health, food, housing and transportation.

While the two foundations are trying to help the nation’s future, they also want to touch the adults enrolling in college.

“We’re diving into survey data and census data to understand across our state who could benefit from the types of programs that our colleges offer. And those adult students, those nontraditional-aged students, are historically very difficult to find,” said Neil Scott with the Alabama Community College System.

Trenholm State Community College in Montgomery and Wallace Community College in Selma are included in those eight schools. Both colleges’ presidents sent statements about the grant.

“Wallace Community College Selma is very honored and excited to be a partner in this HBCC/PBCC initiative. Our students and community will be the true beneficiaries of this worthy program. Many thanks to Dr. Scott, her staff, and the ECMC Foundation,”said Wallace Community College President James Mitchell/

“We are excited to be a part of the PBCC/HBCC Network in Alabama with Alabama Possible as our convener. We know that the support that Alabama Possible is receiving from ECMC will help us to find new avenues to provide the support that our students need to be successful in reaching their academic and career goals,” said Trenholm State Community College President Kemba Chambers.

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