PCC Offering Scholarships for Select Continuing Education Training

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WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College recently received $279,300 through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) as part of an effort to help North Carolina recover from the economic turmoil COVID-19 created.

According to PCC Financial Aid Director Lee Bray, the college is using its GEER allotment to provide $750-scholarships to North Carolina residents pursuing high-demand workforce training through continuing education. She said the awards are available to students enrolled in approved Workforce Continuing Education pathways that include at least 96 hours of training and lead to state- or industry-recognized credentials.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for North Carolina residents to receive funded, short-term training programs to get into the workforce,” Bray said. She added that the scholarships could be used to pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, credentialing tests, transportation, childcare and other components associated with the total cost of attendance.

Funding for GEER comes through the U.S. Department of Education, which provided states with the emergency assistance to help them bolster educational agencies that have a key role in economic recovery. Gov. Roy Cooper allocated the $15 million North Carolina received to the N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) for scholarships that will help the state upskill, reskill and graduate its workforce.

Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic spread nationwide, the Strada Center for Consumer Insights released a survey showing 59 percent of “adults considering enrolling in an education or training program in the next six months prefer non-degree programs.” The State Board of Community Colleges – citing that survey – recommended GEER funding go toward scholarships for continuing education courses, because, unlike traditional credit classes, students cannot apply for federal and state financial aid to pay for them.