TBR Grant Encourages Students to Pursue a Career in Healthcare

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. Sept. 12, 2018) - - - Columbia State Community College was recently awarded a grant for approximately $25,000 from the Tennessee Board of Regents for the “Compete for a Seat/Stay to Complete” pilot program that aims to increase the number of diverse students choosing healthcare as a career.

“Healthcare is a competitive major to be accepted into, especially the Nursing and Radiologic Technology programs at Columbia State,” said Andrea Poynter, Columbia State assistant professor of nursing. “We want to reach out to adult students, pell grant eligible students and underrepresented students who might need a better understanding of the higher demand and difficulty associated with healthcare programs or may have fallen short of meeting admittance requirements.”

The program, which serves current and potential students, is expected to serve 60-80 students and starts this month. Currently enrolled students will be offered ACT prep classes, an ACT retake at no cost, monthly meetings with an adviser and general tutoring that will nurture student success. The programs of study will be university parallel, pre-allied health sciences, nursing and radiologic technology.

The program is geared towards addressing the need of a more diverse healthcare workforce in an ever increasingly diverse society.

“Diversity offers unique and different experiences to patients,” Poynter said. “Looking at my student population, I noticed a trend and thought about what I could do to increase diversity in program applicants. Students want to apply for these programs, but lower grades and ACT test scores become barriers that deny them access. The work within this grant program will provide pre-enrollment academic enhancements to ensure that a diverse student body is more equipped to meet the required standards.”

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