VPCC Receives Health Care Grant

The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education and Sentara Healthcare have awarded Virginia Peninsula Community College $8,850 in emergency assistance grants for its health care students.

This award will help reduce the barriers that cause health care students to withdraw,” said VPCC President Dr. Towuanna Porter Brannon. 

The money can be used for cost-of-attendance expenses, including transportation, childcare, technology, basic needs, fees, books, and required materials/supplies.

In an email to the College announcing the award, Jennifer Gentry, the vice chancellor of Institutional Advancement and the executive director of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, wrote: “Thank you for your ongoing collaboration to build student success and meet the needs of Virginia’s community college students. … (The grants) allow health-care students to overcome financial hardships and excel in college.”

Students must be enrolled in a health care or health care-related undergraduate or professional degree or certificate or credential program and have demonstrated financial need as determined by the financial aid office.

“We are grateful to the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education and Sentara Healthcare for providing our deserving students with such a generous support,” said Jenni Jones, director of nursing at VPCC.

She noted many VPCC nursing students are parents or working adults who often have to make sacrifices when it comes to their studies and expenses.

“This type of opportunity could be the chance they need to keep going,” Jones said.

The high cost of textbooks, electronic resources and licensure testing often are barriers.

“The NCLEX exam, which is what nursing students have to pass in order to become registered nurses, is nearly $500 now, and is often the reason students wait to test,” she said.

Paul Long, dean of the Public Safety, Allied Health and Human Services division, agreed grants such as this help remove some of those barriers.

“This funding will aid our students most in need, and in some instances may be the support to immediately complete licensure examinations, purchase textbooks, or other important items to support their success,” he said. “Direct-to-student emergency grants may be the lifeline for a student in their most desperate hour, allowing them to overcome, succeed, and potentially be a lifesaver in the future.”

He, too, expressed his gratitude to the organizations responsible for the grant.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity and support provided by Sentara Healthcare in partnership with the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education in support of our students and allied health programs,” he said.

To learn more about VPCC’s health care students, visit vpcc.edu.