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Klamath Community College

Klamath Community College has been awarded a $2.2 million grant to improve retention and graduation rates using a career-oriented student success program, according to a news release.

This U.S. Department of Education strengthening institutions program (SIP) grant will be distributed over a five-year period, beginning this year and ending in 2024.

The funding will allow KCC to establish a career center, with resources and staff to assist students with career exploration and to match students’ skills and passions with career expectations and occupational opportunities, including internships.

In addition to the career center, the grant also provides funding to help KCC implement a strategic Guided Pathways model that provides First-Year Experience courses to degree-seeking students. The courses will provide students with targeted career, academic, and financial literacy information.

“Expanding our existing career exploration resources to better educate and train a talented local workforce will in turn attract employers who will pay middle-class salaries,” said KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez. “The early career planning resources provided by this program will benefit students in their academic journey, in their future careers, and be a boost our local economy.”

As part of the program, first-year students will participate in faculty-led activities in a credit-based courses that will help students select a career and put together a career, academic, and financial plan based on the choice.

“By accelerating the college’s efforts to improve our student completion, retention, and employability, this grant will substantially expand the services we can provide to support KCC students and our community,” said KCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Jamie Jennings.

Jennings explained that the grant resources will aid in promoting instructional innovation in the classroom, resulting in an increase in retention and graduation rates for first-time-to-college part- and full-time students. She said the SIP student supports will help keep students motivated and on track to graduation by utilizing advanced career counseling strategies and student assessment.