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SCC receives its single largest gift; it will boost the school’s nursing program

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JOHN GAINES
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Great River Health President and CEO Matt Wenzel (left) and SCC President Michael Ash signing the partnership agreement.

Southeastern Community College has signed a partnership agreement with the Great River Health Foundation to help educate more aspiring nurses in the region.

Great River Health Foundation is providing a grant of up to $10 million to fund the partnership. This gift is the single largest donation SCC has ever received.

The funding will be distributed for the next five years to help SCC expand support to faculty and students and provide tuition assistance to students entering the nursing program.

“The partnership with the hospital is going to provide us with some financial support,” said SCC President Michael Ash. “That will help us with getting some additional staffing in place as well as some additional faculty so that we can get deeper into the high schools as well as, so that we can potentially draw in more and more individuals who are interested or who might be interested in nursing and how it could potentially benefit some of the public health professions.”

The program will provide students with a tutor and a student access advocate who will guide them through graduation.

Ash said this program will train students for good-paying jobs and address a need in the region’s healthcare sector. The college has found there are more than 300 nursing positions open annually within a 50-mile radius of Burlington with a median annual income of $63,000.

“There is tremendous opportunity here for, particularly young people, and even adults who may have already finished high school or finished college or maybe they’re (parents) who have finished raising their children or whatever. They might be interested in this program and secure their nursing degree and have a good paying job at the end of it, as well as for some there might be the opportunity for some part-time jobs in a hospital,” he said.

“That way, they get their foot in the door or they can make some money.”

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