A new grant will help low income, minority and disabled students in Galesburg complete their educational and career goals.

The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) has awarded over $9 million to 55 organizations, including 36 community colleges throughout Illinois to address education and unemployment gaps.  The funding will be used to help minority and low-income students as well as individuals with disabilities remove barriers to finishing their education and career goals through the Innovative Bridge and Transition Grant program (IBT). Locally, Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg was awarded $235,651 in grant funds.

(sandburg.edu)

“The Illinois Community College Board is committed to bridging equity gaps in education by investing in our own community college system as well as other community organizations throughout Illinois that focus on removing barriers for traditionally underserved students.

Supporting and scaling effective and equitable education and career opportunities is critical to the ICCB mission,” said ICCB executive director Brian Durham.

The ICCB is more than doubling funding, from $4 million in 2021 to $9.1 million in 2022 to support bridge and transition efforts that help students transition between education systems as well as employment. These initiatives improve student transitions both to and through postsecondary education and into employment, support individuals with disabilities and scale programs that promote equity and diversity.

The IBT grant funds are intended to help colleges and community organizations meet four main objectives:

  1. Adult Education Bridge and Integrated Education and Training Programming: Create new and expand bridge or integrated education and training programming, including basic reading, math, and language skills, occupational competencies and employability skills.
  2. Seamless Transitions for College and Career Pathways: Implement programs that provide transitions from high school to college or between postsecondary institutions.
  3. Wrap-around Support Services: Utilize transition/wrap-around services that provide students with the information and assistance they need to equitably access and continue along their career pathway.
  4. Seamless Transitions for Students with Disabilities: Create comprehensive programming for individuals with disabilities that provides vocational services, psychological counseling, transitional and educational services and job placement activities that allow them to live and work independently in the community.