East Mississippi Community Colleges and other colleges in the state will provide relief funds to students impacted by the coronavirus, thanks to a grant from the Woodward Hines Education Foundation.

April 16, 2020

East Mississippi Community College, along with other colleges in the state, will receive grant funds to help qualifying Mississippi community college students impacted by COVID-19 stay on track towards graduation. 

The Mississippi Community College Foundation was awarded a grant of $310,000 from the Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF). Those funds will be disbursed to the state’s community colleges for student relief.  

“These relief funds will make a difference to students facing hardships because of the impacts of the coronavirus,” East Mississippi Community College President Dr. Scott Alsobrooks said. “We want to thank the Woodward Hinds Education Foundation on behalf of our institution, our students and the communities we serve. ”

The grant will establish student relief funds at all 15 Mississippi community colleges.

“These are difficult times for students who are trying to adjust to the many personal and educational challenges brought on by COVID-19,” said Dr. Ronnie Nettles, Executive Director of the Mississippi Community College Foundation. “We are delighted to partner with the Woodward Hines Education Foundation to help these students.”

“We know that many of Mississippi’s community college students are already vulnerable to unexpected financial hurdles,” said Jim McHale, WHEF President and CEO. “We viewed this as an emergent opportunity to provide immediate financial support to Mississippi’s two-year college students impacted by COVID-19, so they would not be forced to put their education on hold for financial reasons.”

The student relief funds can be used to help students with the costs associated with in-home internet access, fuel cards, credential fee stipends, to establish campus tablet or computer loan programs, or other costs that may be a barrier to college completion.

“We are excited to be able to provide additional resources to help our students overcome challenges presented by COVID-19,” Executive Director of College Advancement & Athletics Marcus Wood said.

This is not the first time WHEF has provided financial support to Mississippi’s community colleges. WHEF has awarded $490,000 to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society to provide membership scholarships to high-achieving but underserved community college students. WHEF has also provided support to Coahoma Community College and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College through a $900,000 grant to Achieving the Dream, to support the development of a peer learning community and build leadership and data capacity among each institution.

“I am grateful to the Woodward Hines Education Foundation for their continued commitment to education and specifically to Mississippi’s community colleges,” said Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board. “COVID-19 has impacted the lives of our students and their families in so many ways. This grant will help ease the stress so students can continue to focus on their education.”

About Woodward Hines Education Foundation

The Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF) is committed to helping more Mississippians obtain post-secondary credentials, college certifications, and degrees that lead to meaningful employment. Since its inception, WHEF has worked to increase college access and entry for young people in Mississippi and has expanded that work to support promising practices that lead to college persistence and completion. For more information, contact Communications and Impact Director Courtney Lange at clange@woodwardhines.org

About the Mississippi Community College Foundation

Founded in 1986, the Mississippi Community College Foundation (MCCF) is committed to the advancement of the individual and collective missions of the 15 Mississippi community and junior colleges and the Mississippi Community College Board.  It strives to enhance the educational opportunities for the citizens of the state of Mississippi.  To accomplish these goals, the MCCF seeks financial support to improve the colleges and better serve their students. For more information about the MCCF, visit https://mccfms.org. To learn more about the Mississippi Community College Board, visit https://www.mccb.edu.