Academic program – Top 100 Programs http://top100programs.com/ Wed, 18 May 2022 11:59:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://top100programs.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-8-120x120.png Academic program – Top 100 Programs http://top100programs.com/ 32 32 Free college program for Osceola County students leads to surge in applications – WFTV https://top100programs.com/free-college-program-for-osceola-county-students-leads-to-surge-in-applications-wftv/ Fri, 13 May 2022 23:28:01 +0000 https://top100programs.com/free-college-program-for-osceola-county-students-leads-to-surge-in-applications-wftv/ VIDEO: Free college program for Osceola County students leads to surge in applications Free college program for Osceola County students leads to surge in applications OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Hundreds of Osceola County students are taking advantage of Osceola Prospera new program that covers their tuition. Thanks to money set aside by the US bailout, […]]]>

VIDEO: Free college program for Osceola County students leads to surge in applications Free college program for Osceola County students leads to surge in applications

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Hundreds of Osceola County students are taking advantage of Osceola Prospera new program that covers their tuition.

Thanks to money set aside by the US bailout, all Osceola High School graduates in 2022 get a free ride for a two-year degree to Valencia College or Osceola Technical College.

READ: New program lets Osceola County class of 2022 attend technical colleges in Valencia and Osceola for free

Valencia College said its enrollment rate has seen a steep 20% drop since 2020. Osceola Prosper said it is expected to put hundreds more students in classrooms this fall, while giving many an opportunity they would have otherwise canceled due to finances.

The college also said it has already received applications for more than 800 students since Osceola Prosper announced in March, bringing the new total of Osceola County seniors applying to Valencia College to more than 1,400.

READ: Volusia school board votes to make former employee new superintendent

Osceola Tech did not respond to requests for registration numbers.

READ: Rollins College valedictorian with autism delivers inspiring ‘quiet’ commencement speech

Click here to download free WFTV news and weather apps, Click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and Click here to broadcast live Channel 9 Eyewitness News.

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Free college program for Osceola County students leads to surge in applications https://top100programs.com/free-college-program-for-osceola-county-students-leads-to-surge-in-applications/ Fri, 13 May 2022 23:28:01 +0000 https://top100programs.com/free-college-program-for-osceola-county-students-leads-to-surge-in-applications/ Hundreds of Osceola County students are taking advantage of Osceola Prospera new program that covers their tuition. Thanks to money set aside by the US bailout, all Osceola High School graduates in 2022 get a free ride for a two-year degree to Valencia College or Osceola Technical College. READ: New program lets Osceola County class […]]]>

Hundreds of Osceola County students are taking advantage of Osceola Prospera new program that covers their tuition.

Thanks to money set aside by the US bailout, all Osceola High School graduates in 2022 get a free ride for a two-year degree to Valencia College or Osceola Technical College.

READ: New program lets Osceola County class of 2022 attend technical colleges in Valencia and Osceola for free

Valencia College said its enrollment rate has seen a steep 20% drop since 2020. Osceola Prosper said it is expected to put hundreds more students in classrooms this fall, while giving many an opportunity they would have otherwise canceled due to finances.

The college also said it has already received applications for more than 800 students since Osceola Prosper announced in March, bringing the new total of Osceola County seniors applying to Valencia College to more than 1,400.

READ: Volusia school board votes to make former employee new superintendent

Osceola Tech did not respond to requests for registration numbers.

READ: Rollins College valedictorian with autism delivers inspiring ‘quiet’ commencement speech

Click here to download free WFTV news and weather apps, Click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and Click here to broadcast live Channel 9 Eyewitness News.

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Central Oregon University Program Aims to Increase Child Care Workforce with Free Tuition https://top100programs.com/central-oregon-university-program-aims-to-increase-child-care-workforce-with-free-tuition/ Fri, 06 May 2022 01:55:00 +0000 https://top100programs.com/central-oregon-university-program-aims-to-increase-child-care-workforce-with-free-tuition/ A 2019 report from Oregon State University identified central Oregon as a “childcare wasteland” due to the lack of care available for children under five. Now, a new career development program seeks to change that, with financial incentives for students in the field of early childhood education. The Early Learning Career Development Program provides up […]]]>

A 2019 report from Oregon State University identified central Oregon as a “childcare wasteland” due to the lack of care available for children under five. Now, a new career development program seeks to change that, with financial incentives for students in the field of early childhood education.

The Early Learning Career Development Program provides up to $12,000 in tuition for students at OSU-Cascades and Central Oregon Community College. It also offers paid work experience in the field of child care.

Joe Klein

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Oregon State University-Cascades

Students listen and learn from Professor Shannon Lipscomb about early childhood education and skills for developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed and culturally appropriate teaching.

In Bend, Shannon Lipscomb teaches and coordinates OSU-Cascades’ Human Development and Family Sciences program. She said that this opportunity has big advantages.
“We invest in the education and financial success of young educators and we support the employment of parents. We know that child care is critically important for families to work and maintain work and do it stably,” she said.

Part of Lipscomb’s work at OSU-Cascades includes studying the resilience and school readiness of preschoolers and adults that supports their development. She is delighted to welcome participants to the program.

“Early childhood teachers are the gardeners of children’s resilience and learning,” Lipscomb said. “This new career development program is exciting because it opens the door for teachers to invest in their own development while building their skills for developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed and culturally appropriate teaching.”

The program pays full-time tuition for one year for students interested in working in the childcare field, offers part-time work in the childcare field to participating students, and provides a mentoring and career advice. It is open to OSU-Cascades and Central Oregon Community College students and area child care workers looking for additional training to advance their careers.

The program is supported by American Rescue Plan Act funding provided by Deschutes County. To learn more about the program, visit osucascades.edu/early-childhood or contact info@osucascades.edu.

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School nursing plan rejected; hospitals say community college program will meet needs https://top100programs.com/school-nursing-plan-rejected-hospitals-say-community-college-program-will-meet-needs/ Sat, 30 Apr 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://top100programs.com/school-nursing-plan-rejected-hospitals-say-community-college-program-will-meet-needs/ A state council’s vote against a two-year college’s effort to start a nursing license program in Hot Springs came despite local hospital leaders saying a shortage of nurses is “unsustainable” and the “number one threat” to future plans. In a 5-2 vote on Friday, members of the governor’s Higher Education Coordinating Council mostly expressed distrust […]]]>

A state council’s vote against a two-year college’s effort to start a nursing license program in Hot Springs came despite local hospital leaders saying a shortage of nurses is “unsustainable” and the “number one threat” to future plans.

In a 5-2 vote on Friday, members of the governor’s Higher Education Coordinating Council mostly expressed distrust of setting a precedent for two-year colleges to seek the approval of a similar expansion in baccalaureate programs.

Previously, board members opted out of a financial proposal to build student housing submitted by Southeast Arkansas College, a community college in Pine Bluff.

The school president described a shortage of housing for students in the area, but some questions were raised by board members about financial projections and also how housing generally aligns with the schools mission of two years.

The National Park College proposal had top administrators at four-year universities opposing it while hospital officials — joined by state lawmakers — called for approval.

Scott Smith, chief executive of the National Park Medical Center which also oversees Saline Memorial Hospital in Benton, said more than $6 million was spent paying travel nurses in 2021, with around $1.5 million spent so far this year.

Traveling nurses are nursing staff who work on short-term contracts to meet generally urgent needs in hospitals.

“It’s not sustainable. There’s no nursing funnel in our service area to get nurses,” Scott said.

Another senior hospital executive, Doug Ross, president of CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs, also spoke in support of National Park College.

“I can echo all of the financial concerns Scott mentioned,” Ross said, adding, “The number one threat to our strategic plan is our ability to bring in highly qualified nurses.

State board members, who met online via Zoom, spoke about the need to consider existing programs as well as the role of community colleges.

“I absolutely support nursing programs,” said Al Brodell, longtime Jonesboro Hospital administrator and chairman of the board, before the vote.

Brodell said more needs to be done to “understand the need and the scope – not with this program and not as it applies to nursing – but as it applies to the role and scope of these institutions of two years”.

Leaders of the two community colleges whose plans were denied on Friday told the Democrat-Gazette they would continue to press for approval and said the purpose of the community colleges needed to be better explained.

“It’s about educating the Coordinating Council about the unique programs that community colleges offer,” Steven Bloomberg, president of Southeast Arkansas College, said in a phone interview, noting how the college offers a program in respiratory therapy, for example, which attracts students from across the state.

Pine Bluff College had sought approval for a $33 million lease-purchase agreement involving construction of up to 316 student housing beds as well as an approximately 30,000-foot student union building squares.

Board members had approved a similar proposal from the Pine Bluff campus last fall, but the college returned to the board with a streamlined proposal that also specified that it would charge an interest rate of around 6%. Their earlier proposal had specified a rate not exceeding 4%.

National Park College’s request did not directly ask for a new curriculum, but to allow the college to change its “role and scope.”

However, board members heard from university leaders explaining that they wanted to start a licensing program to enroll registered nurses with associate degrees. The college already offers an associate-level nursing degree program, and projections shared with the board were that the bachelor’s degree program would have an expected enrollment of 25 students.

Some questions from board members were whether adding a baccalaureate program would actually result in more nurses.

John Hogan, president of National Park College, told board members that adding the bachelor’s degree program would lead to the expansion of the associate’s degree program because “students will find our nursing program more attractive.”

In an email after the meeting, Hogan said: “Given the urgency of the issue of our healthcare workforce, it is quite easy to conclude that the concern that higher education may be disrupted is a greater concern. urgent than our health, patient care and quality of life. I hope that rests in our collective conscience tonight.”

Hogan, also in his email, said that after the vote he “heard from my community college colleagues here and out of state,” with the messages “unanimous in their concern about today’s vote”.

“I think today’s vote underscores that a better understanding or support for the role that community colleges play in this country and in the state of Arkansas is way overdue,” Hogan said in his e-mail to the Democrat-Gazette.

Council members Jim Carr, Kelley Erstine, Andy McNeill and Greg Revels joined Brodell in voting against a “role and scope” change for National Park College. Graycen Bigger and Lori Griffin voted in favor of a change.

The other members of the 12-person council were absent during the vote.

Had the board voted in favor of the “role and scope” change, a separate vote would have been required to approve the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Ahead of her vote, Bigger, a bank executive from Pocahontas in northern Arkansas, spoke of hearing from hospital executives in her area about how “they really have a hard time keeping the doors open and the cost of traveling nurses”.

During the meeting, Revels of De Queen spoke about the council’s role in the state’s higher education system.

“What can you tell me as a member of the coordinating council that tells me that this coordinates education statewide?” Revels asked Hogan.

Hogan replied, “I think we’re being invited into a broader political conversation that really goes beyond our level of pay. I don’t see that as clogging the current level of coordination.”

Ahead of the vote, McNeill of Russellville had asked Maria Markham, director of the state’s Division of Higher Education, if the vote to authorize the expanded scope of National Park College might lead to similar demands from the from others.

Markham said she thinks such a vote would “certainly set a precedent and open a door,” adding that she would expect other two-year colleges to make similar demands in the future.

Hogan at the meeting told the board that several other states have community colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees.

Before his vote, Jim Carr said it was a tough call, but added, “I don’t want 15 more colleges wanting bachelor’s degree programs.”

Trustees from the Arkansas State University System, the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock also addressed the board, none having supported the National Park College proposal.

Chuck Welch, president of the ASU system, expressed concern about “the non-strategic approach we are taking in our state” to higher education, adding that he is concerned about “all of our institutions and how from which we come.” of our mission.”

Welch called for further discussion and said “it needs to be done collectively, collaboratively and with a significant amount of study.”

Houston Davis, president of the University of Central Arkansas, speaking about broader trends in higher education, said the number of college students is expected to decline by 10%.

“What I heard coming to Arkansas in January 2017 is that this state has too many universities and too many colleges, and that’s a debate that’s being heard across the country,” said Davis said.

Hogan told board members that the school had unsuccessfully approached four-year universities to partner on a bachelor’s degree in nursing program that would be offered locally in partnership with National Park College.

“We want to be a community college now and forever,” Hogan said.

He also updated the board on the changing role of two-year colleges.

“I think there’s going to be a difference of opinion about what the mission of a community college should be,” Hogan told board members.

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Lethbridge College program offers high school students a chance to explore college course options https://top100programs.com/lethbridge-college-program-offers-high-school-students-a-chance-to-explore-college-course-options/ Wed, 27 Apr 2022 17:17:42 +0000 https://top100programs.com/lethbridge-college-program-offers-high-school-students-a-chance-to-explore-college-course-options/ “Students will be actively involved in unique curriculum-based projects that will help them see possible careers in their future.” The first exploratory programming sessions took place in mid-March when approximately 30 students from five rural schools took time on campus to learn about Lethbridge College’s agriculture programs. Participants took part in different activities, such as […]]]>

“Students will be actively involved in unique curriculum-based projects that will help them see possible careers in their future.”

The first exploratory programming sessions took place in mid-March when approximately 30 students from five rural schools took time on campus to learn about Lethbridge College’s agriculture programs. Participants took part in different activities, such as insect identification, commodity marketing and soil science.

Byrne Cook, President of the School of Agriculture, said: “Coming to campus, students appreciate the diversity of education and opportunities available at Lethbridge College.

“Exploratory Programming Days allow students to find out what’s really going on in each area of ​​study, which can help clarify their career planning.”

In addition to agriculture, upcoming offerings include healthcare, media, engineering technology, environmental science, architecture and design, natural resource application, reality virtual, carpentry and criminal justice.

This spring, more than 20 exploratory sessions will take place. The college noted that delivery began on Tuesday and will continue until the last full week of May. Additional exploratory programming days will be available in the future.

Students interested in participating can contact their school officials for more information.

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Milwaukee high school student earned nursing license through college MPS program https://top100programs.com/milwaukee-high-school-student-earned-nursing-license-through-college-mps-program/ Tue, 26 Apr 2022 21:55:00 +0000 https://top100programs.com/milwaukee-high-school-student-earned-nursing-license-through-college-mps-program/ MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students can earn college credit for free through the M3 College Connections program that began in 2018. Imunique Triplett was just a sophomore when she started taking college classes at MATC. Now she has her nursing license and has a head start in her career. “Few people […]]]>

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students can earn college credit for free through the M3 College Connections program that began in 2018.

Imunique Triplett was just a sophomore when she started taking college classes at MATC. Now she has her nursing license and has a head start in her career.

“Few people have the opportunity to start college classes while in high school, let alone graduate. It was without a doubt the best thing I’ve ever been part of in my life.” , said Triplette.

Triplett is on the path to success and bigger things at just 18 years old. She is one month away from graduating from high school and recently passed her exam to become licensed and certified as a nurse. All thanks to the M3 College Connections program.

“M3 College Connections is a program that is a partnership between MATC, UWM and Milwaukee Public Schools. It really works to create pipelines for students to start college early,” said James Sokolowski, Engagement Coordinator post-secondary for MPS.

“It was very intimidating at first because I didn’t think I could pull it off, let alone when I really didn’t understand what I was really getting into,” Triplett said.

This opportunity is offered free to all high school MPS students, saving students thousands of dollars in their college education by giving them the opportunity to complete high school graduation requirements while earning university credits.

“Imunique, in particular, has really stepped up to succeed in the program in a way that I hope can be an example for other students,” Sokolowski said.

And it was not easy. She had to find a balance and make some changes to her social life to juggle it all, but she managed it and even finished the program early. She was sworn in and pinned as a nurse in December. She will be attending Marquette in the fall to continue her nursing education on a pre-medical track and hopes other students will take advantage of this opportunity.

“For a lot of us it wasn’t there, and so building those pathways and pipelines for our students as you move into the 21st century is just invaluable,” Sokolowski said. .

“It was extremely helpful. If I could go back and do it all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up again,” Triplett said.

And it’s not just nursing, there’s also a program for those who are interested in teaching and education or also a program for students who just want to take general university courses at home. ‘advance.

Recruitment for the program begins shortly after the New Year. There are different requirements for each program.

Sokolowski advises students to speak with their student advisor. He also encourages all students to take advantage of this opportunity and apply. To learn more, Click here.

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Baker learns Durfee students praise early college curriculum https://top100programs.com/baker-learns-durfee-students-praise-early-college-curriculum/ Tue, 26 Apr 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://top100programs.com/baker-learns-durfee-students-praise-early-college-curriculum/ FALL RIVER — Students at BMC Durfee High School told Governor Charlie Baker how their school’s beginning college program helped them earn free college credits and take charge of their future during a panel discussion with him and other high school state officials on Monday. “Really, starting college was a game-changer for Fall River and […]]]>

FALL RIVER — Students at BMC Durfee High School told Governor Charlie Baker how their school’s beginning college program helped them earn free college credits and take charge of their future during a panel discussion with him and other high school state officials on Monday.

“Really, starting college was a game-changer for Fall River and our schools,” said Acting Superintendent of Schools Maria Pontes.

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Massachusetts Secretary of Education James Peyser, Mayor Paul Coogan and Durfee Principal Matt Desmarais took part in the discussion with Pontes, Baker and 11 Durfee students.

Unlike dual-enrollment college classes, which typically take place in the evening after high school students have finished their classes, early college classes take place during the day as part of the students’ normal schedule.

Durfee students currently have the option of taking early college courses at Bristol Community College and Bridgewater State University.

Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Governor Charlie Baker listen to students talk about the school's early college program in Durfee on Monday.

The high school plans to roll out an early college pilot program next year with UMass Dartmouth, which would make it the first high school in the state to offer an early college program with three different colleges.

Running out of options:SSTAR lost 4th bid for 30 Fall River rehab beds

Durfee is the only school on the South Coast to offer an officially state-designated early college program, although New Bedford High School hopes to launch a similar program soon.

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My RTIP Story: University Program Pivots Lovitt’s View of Racing and Gives Him Key Tracking Role – Horse Racing News https://top100programs.com/my-rtip-story-university-program-pivots-lovitts-view-of-racing-and-gives-him-key-tracking-role-horse-racing-news/ Thu, 21 Apr 2022 16:03:10 +0000 https://top100programs.com/my-rtip-story-university-program-pivots-lovitts-view-of-racing-and-gives-him-key-tracking-role-horse-racing-news/ California Retirement Management Account (CARMA) Executive Director Lucinda Lovitt recalls a time when a career in the thoroughbred racing industry was the furthest thing from her mind. The Arizona native who grew up competing on the show circuit, what she remembers from her early work with horses is her passion for animals and her passing […]]]>

California Retirement Management Account (CARMA) Executive Director Lucinda Lovitt recalls a time when a career in the thoroughbred racing industry was the furthest thing from her mind.

The Arizona native who grew up competing on the show circuit, what she remembers from her early work with horses is her passion for animals and her passing disdain for a sport with a reputation for often decried public.

“I think like most young girls who end up riding horses, I became fascinated with them at a very young age,” Lovitt said. “I was seven years old when I started taking riding lessons, after nagging my parents enough for a summer camp pass. This led to more serious riding, and I did it competitively from the age of seven until I finished college, mostly in Arizona and all over the Southwest.

The University of Arizona was the only college choice for Lovitt, whose family now has four generations of graduates. As an animal lover, her plan from the jump had been to take the pre-vet route, but it soon became apparent that this route wasn’t exactly what she wanted.

“I was sure I wanted to be a horse veterinarian,” Lovitt said. “Then I looked at the first-semester course load for pre-vet, and I thought, ‘Maybe this isn’t for me.

“I was actually introduced to racing through my horse riding connections because I rode in the same barn as Wendy Davis, the former director of the Racetrack Industry Program. I didn’t know what to do for my major and it was at a horse show that Wendy said, “You should take my introductory race course that I teach. I kinda scoffed at the time and said, “Oh, horse racing is awful Wendy, you know that, and we all know they’re mean to their horses.” But she was firm, and she said, ‘Just take my course and tell me what you think.’ I had no specialization, no idea what I wanted to do, so I took his classes and was fascinated by it. So, I took another class and another and another…”

Four and a half years after that first class, Lovitt was about to graduate from RTIP. The only missing element was her internship, an essential part of the program that she had not yet completed. At the time, Lovitt was still convinced that her future career would take her away from racing, despite her continued interest in the sport.

“I was still riding motorcycles and racing, but I hadn’t done an internship with RTIP, which is an important component of the program,” Lovitt said. “Finally, Wendy said, ‘I’ll set you up, but you have to do an internship. You can go to Turf Paradise, go there for the last three months of their meeting and go through all the departments. So that’s what that happened. But while I was up there a job offer came through the Thoroughbred Owners of California office looking for a landlord liaison. Wendy called me and said : ‘I have the perfect job for you in the race.’

“I always thought I wasn’t going to work in racing, that I was going to go back to Tucson to work for my dad. But Wendy told me a woman from TOC was coming to town, and she wanted me to. I said yes but didn’t take it seriously at all I didn’t have my resume so while I was at Turf Paradise I had to recreate it from memory and theirs Then I was late to the interview because I couldn’t find a parking spot and my parking permit had expired…it was a comedy of errors but I got the job. took me to California, I met John Van de Kamp, the president of TOC. I was 22 and it was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I accepted the job, I left the internship halfway through, packed up my things and moved to California, which is how I got into horse racing – completely unintentionally.

Lovitt spent 14 years with TOC, growing from assistant liaison to taking on more and more responsibilities within the organization. The skills she learned at RTIP—the same skills that once seemed so abstract—were indispensable in helping her build relationships with colleagues and riders in her adopted state of California.

“The longer I was at the TOC, the more I went from assisting owners with licensing and other basic tasks, to managing programs and committees working with the board, negotiating race meet agreements between riders and racetracks, and providing support to board members working with conditions or house rules etc,” Lovitt said. “If I hadn’t followed courses that led us to create a fictitious two-week condition book, I would not have been able to work effectively.

Lovitt in one of his favorite seats – the saddle

“These courses helped me feel like I had the basic knowledge of the racing industry, especially on the business side. For someone who is not a gamer and who is not someone one that comes from a racing story, those business classes were key. For my job, I needed to understand what simulcast was, what takeout was, what a condition book and how to create one.Until you get into a job and work it in real time, the things you learn in class are theoretical.What you learn on the job is much more than what you learn in the classroom, but RTIP is a comprehensive introduction to what racing is really about. It’s a niche activity and this program fits that. You have the flexibility in RTIP to dive as deep as you want .

As Lovitt’s passion for the racing industry grew, she never forgot her first love: the horse.

In 2007, after a conversation with Thoroughbred owner and attorney Madeline Auerbach, Lovitt helped found CARMA, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that raises funds for retired racehorses.

“The nomenclature we use now to talk about aftercare didn’t exist until Madeline and I and the TOC board members started talking about what to do with the horses once they had done running,” Lovitt said. “It all really started with a conversation with Madeline saying, ‘I have a gelding that won stakes, Lennyfrommalibu, who is retired and I don’t know what to do with him. He made me a lot of money and he gave us a lot. I want to do him good, but do we have something in place for him? We realized that if Madeline didn’t know what to do, then none of us did.

“She found him a home, but she knew she was in a position where she had more resources than others and it was always difficult to find a place where he would be safe and cared for. She knew there were a lot of people who couldn’t afford to do this. From that point on, we started working to fix that, and tracking really became its own industry organically.

As the tracking system grew, Lovitt eventually left TOC in 2011 to work full-time for CARMA. While she loved her time with OCD, Lovitt says she’s incredibly proud of her work with the nonprofit and their efforts to make tracking a more widespread part of the running conversation — a gift she would never have found if she hadn’t found groceries.

“I’m so grateful to have been on the ground floor of the movement and for it to become the big conversation piece that it is today,” Lovitt said. “It is appreciated by the industry and I am grateful to have been part of this revolution and to have observed this evolution. We have a long way to go, but since our starting point, we have come so far.

“I stumbled upon it. I didn’t have a passion for it, my parents weren’t really into it, and I didn’t know anyone in the industry. I happened to know someone who gave classes at RTIP, and it ended up working out fabulously. I’ve been lucky enough to work with so many amazing people in my career and I think that’s what’s great about racing. It connects with people we wouldn’t otherwise be able to interact with, and that’s invaluable.

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New Mexico revamps its free college program. Some fear funds can run out. https://top100programs.com/new-mexico-revamps-its-free-college-program-some-fear-funds-can-run-out/ Wed, 13 Apr 2022 16:05:49 +0000 https://top100programs.com/new-mexico-revamps-its-free-college-program-some-fear-funds-can-run-out/ Santa Fe, New Mexico Even after failing a test that set her back a semester, Maribel Rodriguez will return to nursing school next spring with a generous new state scholarship that drops eligibility criteria to help more working adults to obtain a university degree. New Mexico is expanding its “opportunity scholarship,” which has already paid […]]]>

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Even after failing a test that set her back a semester, Maribel Rodriguez will return to nursing school next spring with a generous new state scholarship that drops eligibility criteria to help more working adults to obtain a university degree.

New Mexico is expanding its “opportunity scholarship,” which has already paid Ms. Rodriguez’s college tuition and allowed her to apply for federal grants to cover living expenses like gas and groceries. She is reapplying for admission to the nursing program and hopes to complete her studies without accumulating debts that could harm her husband and three children.

“I didn’t think there were a lot of opportunities for me at my age,” said Ms Rodriguez of Lovington, New Mexico, who left college at 19 in part because she couldn’t to pay rent. “Even though we missed it when we were younger, there is still hope for us.”

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New Mexico is beefing up its free college program, at least for now https://top100programs.com/new-mexico-is-beefing-up-its-free-college-program-at-least-for-now/ Tue, 12 Apr 2022 19:14:32 +0000 https://top100programs.com/new-mexico-is-beefing-up-its-free-college-program-at-least-for-now/ SANTA FE, NM — Even after failing a test that set her back a semester, Maribel Rodriguez will return to nursing school next spring with a generous new state scholarship that drops eligibility criteria to help more working adults earn a college degree. New Mexico is expanding its “opportunity scholarship,” which has already paid Rodriguez’s […]]]>

SANTA FE, NM — Even after failing a test that set her back a semester, Maribel Rodriguez will return to nursing school next spring with a generous new state scholarship that drops eligibility criteria to help more working adults earn a college degree.

New Mexico is expanding its “opportunity scholarship,” which has already paid Rodriguez’s college tuition and allowed him to apply for federal grants to cover living expenses like gas and groceries. She is reapplying for admission to the nursing program and hopes to complete her studies without accumulating debts that could harm her husband and three children.

“I didn’t think there were a lot of opportunities for me at my age,” said Rodriguez, 37, of Lovington, New Mexico, who left college at 19 in part because she couldn’t pay rent. “Even though we missed it when we were younger, there is still hope for us.”

Many states, including New Mexico, have for years offered free four-year degree tuition programs to residents, but the programs had restrictions, limiting participation to recent high school graduates and requiring them to attend the full-time school.

Proponents of these restrictions say they incentivize students to complete their studies and reduce the number of students who participate, thereby reducing costs. But critics argue they create too many barriers to success for students, especially those with low incomes who struggle to work, pay rent and raise a family.

New Mexico’s revamped program gives students more flexibility, including attending college part-time and allowing them to use federal grants for out-of-pocket expenses. There is no obligation to finish within a set number of years.

“It opens the door for a lot of people, especially people who started a degree and had to leave for some reason,” said Kathy Levine, director of financial aid at Northern New Mexico College at Española.

Yet Levine and other university advisers are reluctant to promise students future funding.

Most of the program’s $75 million expansion relied on one-time federal pandemic assistance and is only authorized for one year. If funding is cut, students could find themselves without support halfway through their degree or certificate program.

As recently as 2017, New Mexico cut its other college scholarship program to just 60% of tuition due to an unexpected drop in state revenue. State officials now say the program, the Lottery Scholarship, is now 100% solvent for at least the next four years.

The New Mexico governor and legislature hope the expanded scholarship program will be enough to reverse the state’s dismal education record. Only Mississippi has a lower percentage of four-year degree holders, at 23%, according to census estimates.

As of 2020, the program has been used by 10,000 state residents pursuing associate degree programs, including nursing.

“It checks all of those boxes, very robust, certainly stands out as a national model,” Jessica Thompson, vice president of left-leaning think tank The Institute for College Access and Success, said of the revised program.

But Thompson warns that states are often ill-equipped to promise generous programs to long-term students because their incomes are so closely tied to the vagaries of the economy.

Thompson says other states like Oregon have allowed generous programs for undergraduates, only to cut back when budgets were tight.

In 2020, Oregon had to cut its budget and tell 1,070 low-income students they wouldn’t get the aid they were previously promised. This month, Oregon announced it was doubling its cost-of-living grant for low-income students.

New Mexico officials had estimated that about 35,000 students could participate in the expanded program. But that number will likely drop because universities in the state have already hiked tuition, disappointing state higher education officials.

New Mexico Tech raised tuition by 9%, citing rising costs and the availability of new scholarships. Others have raised tuition fees by around 4%.

Starting in July, universities will have to negotiate tuition increase limits with the state if they want to participate in the tuition-free program. But the law did not prevent them from raising tuition before that date.

At least for next year, the expanded program will also make existing support for recent high school graduates even more generous by allowing them to use federal funding for out-of-pocket expenses, in addition to the existing “lottery scholarship” that pays their tuition fees.

That’s good news at a Santa Fe art school where students discussed their plans with a New Mexico State University recruiter during lunch break.

“Some of our parents are still paying off their loans from college,” said junior Zoë McDonald, 17, an aspiring cinematographer.

Painter Cruz Davis-Martinez, 18, knows he wants a four-year degree and compares the University of New Mexico and two schools in other states.

“A lot of my high school career, unfortunately, was spent on double credit,” Davis-Martinez said, “because I had this financial insecurity.”

At 15, he started traveling 40 minutes so he could take advantage of free college tuition paid for by his high school. The idea was to earn college credit so he could save money in college.

Now he realizes he can attend all the classes he needs without going into debt and without having to work so hard that his grades are crippled.

Under New Mexico’s new plan, he will receive more support than expected, although the exact cost of college is unclear. State officials are still drafting the final rules for the program, including what fees will be covered and how much universities can raise tuition.

Thompson said it’s important for students to be able to continue their education without the threat of debt. Still, she thinks the state is one economic downturn away from cutting benefits and that the federal government needs to fund more of these programs.

“I would be surprised if New Mexico can sustain this without, you know, continued federal funding commitment and involvement,” she said. “And I don’t think other states can follow them.”

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This story has been corrected to show that Maribel Rodriguez will be returning to school next spring, not this fall.

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Attanasio is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative body. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on underreported issues. Follow Attanasio on Twitter.

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