Clark State receives funds through programs to help with qualified student expenses

Clark State Cybersecurity lab class on the first day of fall semester in August. CONTRIBUTED

Clark State Community College was selected as one of five colleges in Ohio for the Community College Accelerate Program and will receive funds to help qualified students with living expenses, according to a release from the school.

The program, funded by federally awarded money to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (JFS), will help the college provide qualified students assistance with needs such as childcare, public transportation, automobile and laptop computers.

Clark State will receive between $24,000 and $54,000 the first year and $30,000 the second year, said Nina Wiley, dean of student engagement and support services.

“Clark State provides emergency funding and assistance to students at risk of dropping out of college due to unexpected financial emergencies. This assistance was created to help students stay in college and meet their educational goals, ultimately, securing a better financial future,” Wiley said.

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The purpose of this program is to provide and enhance financial, academic and personal support services to students participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) employment and training program (E&T), Wiley said. The purpose of the SNAP E&T program is to assist participants in the SNAP program to gain skills, training or work experience that will increase their ability to obtain employment.

To be referred to JFS for the SNAP E&T program, Wiley said students who apply for emergency funding must meet required criteria to get funding from the college, request allowable expenses and be in a degree and certificate program that aligns with an in-demand occupation.

“Once it has been determined that those three components have been met, student information is shared with the agency in the student’s county of residence,” she said.

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Wiley said when a student qualifies for SNAP E&T through JFS, the college is reimbursed for up to 50% of emergency funds that are allocated to students.

“Reimbursements are reinvested directly back into our emergency fund program to provide funding opportunities for more students,” she said.

Clark State was also awarded SNAP E&T funds for a Laptop Loner Program this past summer to help provide technical access for students to support distance learning and their access to college.

“Clark State used the funds to purchase new laptops specifically for SNAP E&T participants," Wiley said. “Our goals for the program are to increase college access and completion, strengthen career pathway advancement and connect students to in-demand occupations.”

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