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IMPROVING EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES. CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT GAPS.

Housatonic Community College is elevating its commitment to under-resourced and under-represented students across our region with the creation of a new initiative: The Equity Project.

For more than 50 years HCC has been a key access point to a postsecondary education for traditionally under-represented groups. While HCC remains committed to being an open door to any community member seeking educational and career advancement, greater opportunity exists to attract, enroll and retain more under-represented students at Housatonic.

OUR STUDENTS

Scholarships

“Housatonic Community College changed my life. I arrived in the US from Jamaica and began taking HCC classes in high school and then went on for my associate degrees. There is so much support at HCC, from scholarships, to volunteering and service projects, to phenomenal faculty that go the distance. Because of HCC, I was able to graduate and go on to a four year college to pursue mechanical engineering.”
Johnoey, HCC Alumni, Class of 2020

Assistance Funds

“Before I came to Housatonic, I was living paycheck to paycheck in meaningless jobs. Getting into law enforcement has always been a dream of mine. I knew coming to HCC would help me reach my goal of becoming a police officer. I couldn’t continue toward this dream with all of the help from HCC through scholarships, faculty support and much more. The best way to show my gratitude is to be focused on my goals, improve my academics, and be even more involved on campus.”
Ahmed, pursing a degree in Criminal Justice

Male Center For Student Success

“Being an HCC student has allowed me to be a part of amazing clubs on campus that enriched my academic journey. For example, I’m President of the NAACP and STEAM Clubs, a member of the Student Senate, and am a student worker for the Academic Dean’s office. After I graduate HCC, I plan to successfully matriculate to Smith College and major in The Statistical & Data Sciences (SDS) Program. My dream job is in data analytics but becoming a philanthropist and CEO of my own technology company is my ultimate goal.”
Kellie, pursuing a degree in Computer Information Systems`

HOW THE EQUITY PROJECT WORKS

Financial Investments linked to Access and Retention

For many students, financial constraints pose a major challenge to gaining access to post-secondary education. Moreover, once students are enrolled, sudden emergencies such as lost wages or job, and unexpected healthcare or childcare bills can cause disruption that can lead to a student dropping-out.

The Equity Project will provide financial assistance for academic-based needs and emergencies. Awards will be based on student’s retention from semester to semester.

Campus Engagement and Resource Connection

A key factor in student retention and academic success is their ability to navigate campus resources, student networks, professional development and personal growth opportunities. Spearheaded by HCC’s Center for Male Success and the Women’s Center, students will be provided with personalized support to get connected with resources and student groups that align with interests, and can assist in their personal growth and academic and career advancement.

Through the Equity Project, students will be exposed to experts on social justice, equity and other important issues, as well as trainings and workshops that provide skills development and education. These efforts will work to increase their sense of community, belonging and ability to succeed at HCC and beyond.

PASSION FOR THE PROJECT

Dr. Dwayne Smith“Enhancing the success of our students is a hallmark of Housatonic, and supports that target low-income, underrepresented scholars striving to climb out of poverty will bring about lasting change. Through this initiative, students that have historically struggled can overcome obstacles that delay degree completion, increase post-college earnings, and contribute to the economic growth of our entire region.”
Dr. Dwayne Smith, CEO of Housatonic Community College


Laurie Giles Shipp“The Equity Project will leverage all that HCC and the HCC Foundation is doing well and do even more to uplift disenfranchised, low-wealth populations. The Equity Project will make a statement in our greater community that HCC is committed to creating opportunity and pathways out of poverty and underachievement through access to education. And more importantly, the Equity Project will act by granting financial awards that empower students to persist, as well as encourage connections to resources and networks on campus to increase their sense of community, belonging and ability to succeed at HCC.”
Laurie Giles Shipp, HCC Foundation Board Member, Equity Project Advisory Council Member

Bigelow Tea is proud to support the Equity Project at Housatonic Community College. Ensuring higher education is accessible to everyone within our community is of paramount importance to the success of our state and country as a whole. We are thrilled to be able to partner with Housatonic to ensure that our next generation is able to achieve their goals through the advanced learning opportunities created by this project.”
— Cindi Bigelow, president and CEO of R.C. Bigelow
“Our Trefz Family Foundation is committed to helping local students get their chance for higher education. Many students struggle to pay for education in addition to supporting themselves and their families. Now, to make matters more difficult, along comes Covid 19! The Equity Project will certainly be a determining factor to help the students be able to continue their studies. We have been longstanding supporters of scholarships. We hope others will join in helping the Equity Project to succeed.”
— Joan Trefz, president of the Ernest and Joan Trefz Foundation

Thank you for investing in our students at Housatonic Community College through the Equity Project.

Ernest and Joan Trefz Foundation

Bigelow Tea

M and T Bank

Dr. Dwayne Smith, CEO

PASSION FOR THE PROJECT

Dr. Dwayne Smith

“Enhancing the success of our students is a hallmark of Housatonic, and supports that target low-income, underrepresented scholars striving to climb out of poverty will bring about lasting change. Through this initiative, students that have historically struggled can overcome obstacles that delay degree completion, increase post-college earnings, and contribute to the economic growth of our entire region.”
Dr. Dwayne Smith, CEO of Housatonic Community College

Laurie Giles Shipp

“The Equity Project will leverage all that HCC and the HCC Foundation is doing well and do even more to uplift disenfranchised, low-wealth populations. The Equity Project will make a statement in our greater community that HCC is committed to creating opportunity and pathways out of poverty and underachievement through access to education. And more importantly, the Equity Project will act by granting financial awards that empower students to persist, as well as encourage connections to resources and networks on campus to increase their sense of community, belonging and ability to succeed at HCC.”
— Laurie Giles Shipp, HCC Foundation Board Member, Equity Project Advisory Council Member

HOW THE EQUITY PROJECT WORKS

Financial Investments linked to Access and Retention

For many students, financial constraints pose a major challenge to gaining access to post-secondary education. Moreover, once students are enrolled, sudden emergencies such as lost wages or job, and unexpected healthcare or childcare bills can cause disruption that can lead to a student dropping-out.

The Equity Project will provide financial assistance for academic-based needs and emergencies. Awards will be based on student’s retention from semester to semester.

Campus Engagement and Resource Connection

A key factor in student retention and academic success is their ability to navigate campus resources, student networks, professional development and personal growth opportunities. Spearheaded by HCC’s Center for Male Success and the Women’s Center, students will be provided with personalized support to get connected with resources and student groups that align with interests, and can assist in their personal growth and academic and career advancement.

Through the Equity Project, students will be exposed to experts on social justice, equity and other important issues, as well as trainings and workshops that provide skills development and education. These efforts will work to increase their sense of community, belonging and ability to succeed at HCC and beyond.

THANK YOU
DONORS

Bigelow Tea is proud to support the Equity Project at Housatonic Community College. Ensuring higher education is accessible to everyone within our community is of paramount importance to the success of our state and country as a whole. We are thrilled to be able to partner with Housatonic to ensure that our next generation is able to achieve their goals through the advanced learning opportunities created by this project.”
— - Cindi Bigelow, president and CEO of R.C. Bigelow
“Our Trefz Family Foundation is committed to helping local students get their chance for higher education. Many students struggle to pay for education in addition to supporting themselves and their families. Now, to make matters more difficult, along comes Covid 19! The Equity Project will certainly be a determining factor to help the students be able to continue their studies. We have been longstanding supporters of scholarships. We hope others will join in helping the Equity Project to succeed.”
— Joan Trefz, president of the Ernest and Joan Trefz Foundation

Thank you for investing in our students at Housatonic Community College.

Bigelow Tea

M and T Bank

Dr. Dwayne Smith, CEO

Ernest and Joan Trefz Foundation

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Photographs by Don Hamerman