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Abell Foundation Funds Community College Scholarships

Baltimore City Community College and the Community College of Baltimore County are initiating new scholarship programs this fall semester thanks to grants from The Abell Foundation. The scholarships are open to 75 low-income graduates of Baltimore City public high schools at BCCC and at CCBC each.
The Abell Foundation grants of $218,000 to each school establishes the BCCC Aspiring Scholars program and the CCBC Strive For Excellence program, according to Stan Brown, BCCC’s dean of special projects and Hope Davis, CCBC’s director of media relations.
Both programs are one-year pilot programs that provide stipends of up to $1,000 per student per semester for a total of 150 qualifying students. The scholarships are performance-based, meaning that students must maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average each semester.
The BCCC and CCBC programs are modeled after similar community college programs in other states, where they have proven successful in encouraging students to stay in school.
Over the summer, BCCC actively recruited students for the program via its website, mailings and social media. BCCC has so far awarded scholarships to close to 60 students, with the remainder to be awarded in the spring semester.
Brown says students can renew their scholarships each semester, up to three continuous semesters. The program is to full- and part-time students, who may enroll in either a certificate or an associate degree program.
Brown says The Abell Foundation approached Dr. Carolane Williams, BCCC president, with the program. Over the past two years, BCCC has increased foundation and corporate funding support by 49 percent, and increased student graduation by 28 percent over the same period.
Both BCCC and CCBC have hired a full-time academic advisor to oversee their programs and to mentor the students who receive the scholarships so they can maintain the stipends.
Sources: Stan Brown, Baltimore City Community College; Hope Davis, Community College of Baltimore County
Writer: Barbara Pash
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