Edmonds Community College Foundation Programs
Our three primary programs are Scholarships, Grants and Emergency Funds.
The Foundation’s largest program is providing scholarships to students through several scholarship categories:
- Adult Basic Education/GED Program
The Department of Developmental Education provides services for those needing to complete their high school education, English as a Second Language (ESL) education, basic to advanced literacy, and preparation to enter the college’s Allied Health Program. The Foundation provides funding for ABE/GED course fees, GED testing and high school graduation fees.
- Edmonds Reads
In 2008 the college started a program in collaboration with the ACCE (Arts Culture and Civic Engagement) initiative to establish a campus-wide reading program that includes a scholarship. The Humanities department chooses a book for the annual program. To apply for the scholarship, students read the book; create and complete a project addressing the key themes of the book; and submit an application to the Humanities and Social Sciences division, which includes a description of the project and a recommendation letter from a faculty member that endorses the project. A team of faculty and staff review and select the recipients of the scholarships to be used in spring quarter.
- REACH Scholarships
The REACH program is a collaboration between the College’s high school outreach department and the Edmonds School District. In their sophomore year of high school, at-risk students who would not otherwise be able to attend college are identified and invited to participate in the program. Selected students then receive support from the School District to reach their goal of graduating high school and attending Edmonds Community College. Participating students are assured that they will receive the funding necessary to attend college through a combination of financial aid and scholarships. After graduation, REACH students work with the college’s financial aid department to identify the types of financial support they can receive. Students who do not qualify for other forms of financial aid receive full tuition for two years from the Foundation.
- COMPLETE THE DREAM
This scholarship is available to students who in their final quarter have experienced an unexpected financial crisis that could prevent them from completing their degree or program. Applications are reviewed by Foundation staff and awards are made on the 1st day of the quarter in which they hope to graduate. Students who have received a scholarship through the Foundation’s annual award process are not eligible for a Complete the Dream Scholarship. Students who receive Complete the Dream Scholarships are expected to graduate and are therefore ineligible for future scholarships from the Foundation.
- ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIPS
The Foundation scholarship process is managed by staff and conducted online, with the application becoming available to students in January of each year. Closing in April, the applications are reviewed by a committee comprised of members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and the community at-large. Applications are ranked according to the specific questions and criteria for each scholarship. Scholarships are then awarded by late May to those students with the highest ranking for each scholarship to be used during the next academic year. Students awarded annual scholarship may distribute the funds over the 4 quarters of the next academic year as they believe it will be needed. The Foundation deposits the awards into the student’s accounts at the college. Any funds not used during the academic year are returned to the Foundation. The number of scholarship available varies from year to year depending on contributions received by the Foundation. Individuals can create a one-time scholarship for $500, and renew it annually if they so choose.
The Foundation has loyal scholarship donors that provide funding from between $500 and $30,000 annually. Individuals wishing to contribute to scholarships, but not wanting to establish their own scholarship fund, may make donations to the Edmonds Community College Foundation Scholarship fund. Endowed scholarships require a minimum contribution of $25,000 – with $5,000 being used to award scholarships over 5 years until the endowment can generate sufficient growth to make awards. The Emergency Assistance Program provides cash grants or loans to students experiencing financial emergencies that might prevent them from attending classes or force them to drop out of school. Because many Edmonds Community College students come from fragile economic circumstances, a set-back can derail their educational plans. The Foundation works closely with six campus departments to reach out to students in need. Student retention is a key goal of the College and the Foundation. Individuals cannot reap the benefits of higher education if they don't complete their programs. And if citizens can't complete their schooling, the community loses the benefits of an educated citizenry.
GRANTS TO FACULTY & STAFF
Through an annual application process managed by Foundation staff, College faculty and staff apply for grants to support projects not covered through their departmental budgets. The grants can be for any activities important to the administration of their department, the college or the enhancement of student learning. The maximum award is typically $2500 and individual projects can be funded for a maximum of 3 consecutive years. Applications are reviewed by a committee comprised of Foundation and College staff and members of the Foundation Board of Directors. Grants are awarded in May/June of each year for use in the next academic year (July 1- June 30). A written report on the project is required at the end of the year.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
February 23rd marked our organizations 27th A Vintage Evening Auction. This event is the key fundraiser for the year. This year, we raised over $225,000 in support of the work of the Foundation.
Our student speaker was one that spoke from the heart. After she shared her story of low self worth, raising three girls as a young teenage mother and always wanting to go back to school - the response was tremendous. Lori never lost sight of her own dream or the example she wanted to be for her children. One donor who had not engaged with the organization for several years came with the intention of giving $500 when the call was made to support the Foundation. After hearing Lori's story, he gave a gift of $10,000 and was re-invigorated to make a difference through his support of education.
We are $40,000 ahead of last years revenues from our auction. The stories of those we support are many and Lori's is one recent success story.
A current fundraising focus for Edmonds Community College is a $1 million campaign to expand and enhance services for veteran students, responding to the needs expressed by these students, whose numbers are expected to grow significantly over the next 3 to 4 years:
- Mental health counseling, academic advising and peer mentoring
- Comfortable space set aside for use by veteran students
- Augmented orientation and information on resources
- Assistance navigating financial and GI benefits
- Emergency funds
- Faculty and staff training for improved response to special needs
- Strong community referral network
This campaign is fully supported by the Foundation’s board of directors, staff and the college president. Campaign counsel has been engaged and planning has begun though still in the very early stages. Future direct mail appeals will highlight this special campaign, and it will be a strong component of outreach and relationship building across our giving audience.