By G. Wayne Miller
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $781,718 grant to the Community College of Rhode Island to further the school’s efforts to support low-income and first-generation students who are pursuing postsecondary education and training.
The grant, for CCRI’s Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center, was announced Tuesday jointly by the four members of the state’s congressional delegation.
“I am pleased CCRI is receiving this important funding to help students broaden their horizons and help the state build a stronger workforce,” Sen. Jack Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee overseeing federal education programs, said in a media release.
“Expanding access to affordable higher education is one of the best ways to create economic opportunity for young Rhode Islanders and strengthen our local economy,” said Rep. David Cicilline, a member of the House Community College Caucus.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, congratulated CCRI and its contribution to building Rhode Island’s workforce, as did Rep. Jim Langevin, who called the community college an “agent of social mobility for so many adults.”
The grant arrives via the Department of Education’s Educational Opportunity Centers grant program, which supports counseling and guidance on college admissions to individuals seeking postsecondary education. The EOC also helps improve participants’ economic and financial literacy, and assists in finding financial aid.
“In its 37-year history, the Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center program at CCRI has helped thousands of Rhode Islanders improve their lives through postsecondary education,” said CCRI president Meghan Hughes.
“We are thrilled RIEOC has been funded for another five-year cycle so it can continue providing vital services to over 3,000 adults each year, most of whom are the first in their family to attend college.”