Southeast Community College is partnering with three other
Nebraska community colleges in a near-$12 million grant that will
enable more low-income Nebraskans to have greater access to health
Central Community College was awarded an $11,892,355 Health
Profession Opportunity Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services' Administration for Children and Families.
Mid-Plains and Northeast community colleges are joining SCC and CCC
in the partnership.
CCC Grants Manager Marni Danhauer said the new grant expands on
the $9.5 million Health Profession Opportunity Grant awarded to CCC
in 2010 to begin Project HELP (Health Education Laddering
"The crux of both programs is to educate Temporary Assistance
for Needy Families recipients and other low-income individuals for
health care careers that are in demand and pay well," she said.
Danhauer said that the new grant is shifting Project HELP's
focus from short-term to long-term training. "We're focusing on
getting individuals into associate of applied science degrees
because these will lead to those better-paying jobs."
The new five-year goal is to enroll 1,445 participants with 94.5
percent completing basic skills training and 64 percent obtaining
employment in a health care occupation. Another goal is for
participants attain at least 1,043 degrees, diplomas or
In order to help them succeed, students will not only receive
tuition assistance, but also supportive services such as tutoring,
transportation assistance and career placement. The grant also will
serve more Nebraskans thanks to the addition of SCC, Mid-Plains and
"Rather than duplicating our health care programs, we're (the
four community colleges) collaborating to share our existing
programs," said Dr. Marcie Kemnitz, dean of health sciences at
Danhauer said an exciting and innovative example is SCC's
Surgical Technology program. A partnership has allowed CCC students
to complete much of the degree requirements through online classes
and at clinicals held in local communities. Labs, however, had to
be completed at SCC. This situation was challenging for SCC staff
trying to travel to all the clinical sites in the state and for
students who had to drive to Lincoln.
"The farther out a student lived, the harder it was," Danhauer
said. "The new grant will establish satellite locations in the
other three community college areas."
Providing a place for the labs will be Good Samaritan Hospital
in Kearney, Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk and Great
Plains Health in North Platte.
"Now students will have to travel to Southeast only to graduate,"