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HCC receives grant to increase college attendance

HCC students in the Kepler Center Lobby

Hagerstown Community College recently received a five-year grant, totaling $1.25 million, from the U.S. Department of Education as part of its Upward Bound program. This grant is designed to increase the high school graduation and college completion rates of low-income, first-generation students. Through this grant, HCC will work in partnership with Washington County Public Schools to further enhance evolving curricular changes that are designed to result in higher college attendance rates.
               
“We are very proud of the fact that only eight percent of the awards made were to new projects and HCC was the only new program in Maryland,” said Guy Altieri, HCC president. “While this grant will allow us to help only four schools initially, it is our hope that we will eventually be able to help more schools, pending new funding availability.”

As part of the grant application, the four schools targeted to receive support from this program are South Hagerstown High School, North Hagerstown High School, Williamsport High School, and Hancock High School. The focus for the younger students will be on academic skill-building and college and career exploration. College readiness, especially in math and English, will be the focus for the older students. The program will include a summer academy on the HCC campus, designed to further increase academic readiness.
               
“This partnership between the school district and HCC provides a clear pathway for young people who are inspired and motivated by the chance to make a better life through their education. We view this partnership and the opportunity to support our students in a deep and meaningful way - as a next step in a series of life-changing events for each student we serve,” said Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox.

Upward Bound has been in existence since the 1960s. This grant award is the first time that Washington County has received Upward Bound funding.
               
For more information on the Upward Bound program, contact Mylynh Nguyen at 240-500-2584 or email mnguyen@hagerstowncc.edu.