Gateway Receives Five-Year, Multi-Million Dollar Health Opportunities Grant

Gateway Community and Technical College has received a five-year, multi-million dollar federal grant to provide low-income students pursuing healthcare careers a wide variety of support services and resources to help them earn their degrees. The grant from the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families will provide funds of nearly $1.8 million in the first year.

We expect the grant to total at least $8.5 million over five years, which is the largest single federal competitive grant Gateway has ever received, said G. Edward Hughes, Gateway president and CEO.

This grant will have a huge impact on our students, the college and the regions healthcare industry, he added. It will enable us to improve career education opportunities for low-income students, expand Gateway programs and services and provide well-qualified workers in a broader range of occupations to healthcare providers.

In addition, we expect the grant to benefit urban students in particular, because some of the programs and services the grant will make possible will likely be placed at the Urban Center in downtown Covington, Dr. Hughes said, adding that the grant aligns with the colleges emphasis on access, degree completion, and student engagement, as well as services to urban students.

The grant is designed to benefit low-income students, including those who qualify for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or who meet the income eligibility guidelines for Pell grants. The grant is expected to create about 20 faculty and staff, full-time or part-time positions.

The grant application was developed by Gateway faculty and staff in cooperation with the Workforce Investment Board. Winning the grant should enable us to expand our healthcare programs over the next five years to include health information technology and electronic health records, exercise science and sports management, cancer tumor registry and health science, Dr. Hughes said.

Gateway currently offers credentials in nursing, practical nursing, certified nurse assistant, medical assisting, Kentucky medication aide, medical information technology and massage therapy. Occupations specifically targeted by the grant include nurse assistant, medical assistant, medical records and health information technician, medical transcriptionist, medical secretary, fitness trainer, recreation worker, licensed practical nurse, athletic trainer and physical therapist assistant.

The project also provides funding to create an accelerated developmental education sequence to reduce credential-completion time for students who need remediation in reading, writing or math.

Because many community college students face barriers that may hinder their ability to complete a credential, the grant includes funding for support services to help overcome these obstacles, Dr. Hughes explained. We plan to develop or enhance orientation programs, mentors, assistance with child care and transportation, career and transfer counseling and developmental programs that will improve completion rates with a positive outcome on employability.

The college is moving forward with implementation plans to develop and administer programs and services; start dates will be announced as plans are completed and annual funding awards are confirmed for the full-length of the grant.