The Mountain Times

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McClure Foundation announces over $400,000 to support access to higher education in Vt


Significant portion of the grant will support CCV program


The J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation has announced over $400,000 in support of promising programs across the state that remove barriers to higher education, encourage collaboration and communication between stakeholders, and promote long-term, systemic improvements so that every Vermonter can access an advanced education.
The McClure Foundation, a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation, has in recent years focused its philanthropic lens on improving access to post-secondary education for all Vermonters, granting out more than $2.1 million to 21 organizations since 2008 in support of that goal.
"Our foundation strategy starts with a family tradition of giving back to the community by collaborating with on-the-ground professionals already helping others to succeed," says McClure Foundation Vice President Barbara Benedict. "We continue to be guided by a long-term vision of what we wish to pass on to future generations of Vermonters: a vibrant, inclusive world-class economy that supports optimal quality of life in Vermont."
A significant portion of the current grant awards will support the Community College of Vermont's (CCV's) "Introduction to College Studies" course, which assists high school juniors and seniors develop study skills and exposes them to college expectations. The McClure Foundation has supported this program for the past several years, and believes their investment is paying off, noting that 71% of students who have taken this course graduate and go on directly to college compared to the state average of 45%.
The McClure's support will allow CCV to expand the course offering to sophomores.
The grants awarded to CCV will also continue sponsorship for a full-time coordinator at CCV to support student veterans, and an information campaign designed to inform prospective students and Vermont families about paths that align college coursework with desired career goals.
Additional grants of between $15,000-$40,000, to promote education innovation and assist underserved populations in Vermont access cutting edge education, will go to Spectrum Youth and Family Services, The Tutorial Center, Franklin County Supervisory Union, Pre-K through 16 Council, and the Vermont Journalism Trust, among others.
The McClure Foundation also aims to promote communication and collaboration. A regional forum held this month in Manchester was a fifth gathering sponsored by the Foundation to bring education, business, and community leaders together with legislators and specialized nonprofit professionals in order to identify key challenges and levers for action around the topic of workforce development.
Foundation President Lois McClure shares: "Many individuals and organizations share our enthusiasm for offering opportunities for the necessary education needed beyond high school to succeed in the present world.  We welcome them to join with us so more students can learn about what is available for them."
Through its steady focus on promoting access to postsecondary and career education across the state, the McClure Foundation continues its family tradition of project-oriented, collaborative philanthropy, leading the way in encouraging and supporting Vermonters to reach their full potential. To learn more about the work of the Foundation, visit www.McClureVT.org.