The Daniels Fund has awarded the Santa Fe Community College Foundation $20,000 for Boundless Opportunity Scholarships. “Boundless Opportunity Scholarships benefit non-traditional students who desire to create a better life by investing in their education,” explained Linda Childears, president and CEO of the Daniels Fund. At SFCC, the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship will focus on adult learners enrolled in the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) Program. I-BEST provides a way for first-generation students to obtain a high school equivalency while simultaneously earning certifications to help them succeed economically.
Most of these students are underserved, at-risk members of the community who come from difficult socio-economic situations.
“Many adult learners face significant barriers to entry for education,” said Meghan McGarrity, Scholarship Coordinator at the college. “The scholarship helps support the students in a program that opens doors to opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.”
The Boundless Opportunity Scholarship will support students who have few or no options to pay for college and stimulate them towards academic and work success. Eligible students who demonstrate financial need may receive up to $1,000 to pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies and transportation expenses. Additional funding may be awarded to students who continue their studies at the college.
Instead of requiring students to fulfill all basic adult education requirements before moving on to workforce training, I-BEST students are placed directly into Daniels Fund Awards SFCC Foundation $20,000 for Boundless Opportunity Scholarships Paul Quintana, a 37-year-old welding student, from Cochiti Pueblo, who won the second place medal in the welding sculpture category, said he’s learned much since enrolling in the welding program this year. “I had studied diesel mechanics and was familiar with welding, but I’ve learned so many practical skills at the college.” He will continue studying next year to earn an Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology. credit career pathways taking workforce training courses at the same time. I-BEST faculty and staff provide students individualized academic and study skills support; financial aid guidance; résumé development and job interview skills; job fairs and employer networking opportunities; career guidance and job placement support. Program offerings are matched to industry demands, and keep pace with local high-growth occupational opportunities.
According to the Community College Research Center and Workforce Training Coordinating Board, I-BEST students are three times more likely to earn college credits, nine times more likely to earn a workforce credential, employed at double the hours per week, and earn more per year than similar adults who did not receive I-BEST training and support. To keep students on track, strategies include “intrusive advising” and cohort building. Intrusive advising is structured, with check-in sessions to make sure the student is accomplishing their identified goals and receiving necessary support. Cohort building is achieved through events and team-building activities. Research shows that when students feel like they are part of a larger group with common aspirations, they are more likely to be successful.
The Daniels Fund is a private charitable foundation that continues the legacy of generosity established by its founder, Bill Daniels, through its grants program, scholarship program, and ethics initiative in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
Contact the Financial Aid Office at 505-428-1268 or firstname.lastname@example.org.