JACKSON, MS — Nearly a dozen community colleges in Mississippi have been awarded over $2 million to help retain nursing students to completion while assisting in the exploration and evaluation of their career options.
The Mississippi Allied Health College and Career Navigator Grant Program was funded in the 2023 legislative session with $28 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through Senate Bill 3113.
Through the coordination of AccelerateMS, grants were awarded to eleven community colleges to hire navigators who will play an integral role in fostering student success from enrollment to graduation.
Through the one-on-one engagement opportunities, navigators will provide assistance with college and financial aid applications, as well as other areas of need such as connecting students to services related to mental health, transportation, childcare, healthcare, and housing.
A growing body of research and practice indicates college and career navigation assistance is a vital driver of student retention, completion, and advancement especially for nontraditional students.
“The nursing profession is one of the most vital to a strong healthcare industry and ultimately strong communities and Mississippi needs more of the individuals pursuing this profession to successfully complete programs at our community colleges,” said Courtney Taylor, Deputy Director of Strategy & Programs at AccelerateMS. “This grant opportunity will allow a majority of our state’s community colleges to enhance the work they are already doing to support nursing students and improve their career outcomes.”
The complete list of community colleges is listed below.
- Copiah-Lincoln – $73,700.00
- East Central – $198,438.00
- East Mississippi – $224,640.00
- Holmes – $156,000.00
- Itawamba – $163,150.00
- Meridian – $81,675.00
- Mississippi Gulf Coast – $683,100.00
- Northeast Mississippi – $129,896.00
- Northwest Mississippi – $94,842.00
- Pearl River – $171,831.00
- Southwest Mississippi – $65,000.00