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WCC’s recent grant awards support student success and career preparation

Post Date:09/17/2018 12:03 pm

Bellingham, Wash. – Whatcom Community College (WCC) has received several grants that will support student success and career preparation. The total of the four grant awards is more than $260,000. 

“Innovations in Creating Access To Careers in Healthcare” (I-CATCH) addresses barriers to quality healthcare training in the region. I-CATCH, led by Edmonds Community College, provides healthcare education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish and Island counties. WCC’s nearly $200,000 grant award includes almost $90,000 in direct student support costs such as lab supplies, tuition, textbooks, immunizations, transportation, emergency funds, and more. I-CATCH is a Health Profession Opportunity Grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Family Assistance.

The Washington Student Achievement Council’s approximately $34,000 “Passport Mini-Grant” will enhance services to Passport to College Promise Scholarship program students by strengthening the College and region’s programs for children in the foster care system. WCC will collaborate with Skagit Valley College, Bellingham Technical College, and Northwest Indian College to develop a regional consortium of colleges serving this at-risk population. Among other things, the grant will provide financial incentives to foster youth and parents who provide feedback about their support and service needs, create marketing materials to better serve current and potential students, and develop a database to track student participation. 

The College also received a “Skilled Worker Awareness” grant, awarded by the Washington State Department of Commerce. The $27,000 grant funds a part-time recruiter / student support advisor for WCC’s new Chemical Dependency Professional program, which began earlier this year to help fill the critical need in the local behavioral health workforce. The state’s grant program aims to raise awareness of worker training programs, and to educate and train individuals to perform skills needed for high-demand careers. 

A $2,500 grant from WECU (Whatcom Educational Credit Union) will allow WCC to expand its “Scrubs Camp” program, which provides guidance and support for high school students from diverse and nontraditional backgrounds interested in healthcare careers. The camp, coordinated by the Area Health Education Center of Western Washington, which is housed at WCC, includes hands-on and lecture sessions where students learn about physical therapy, phlebotomy, emergency medicine, dental hygiene, sports medicine, and nutrition. Scrubs Camp is free for students and helps create a pipeline of qualified professionals to serve the community. 

About Whatcom:

Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA is regularly recognized as one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. The College, a destination for cybersecurity, healthcare and business studies, offers a four-year bachelor of applied science degree, transfer degrees, career preparation, online courses and community education classes. WCC’s accomplished faculty and staff serve 11,000 students annually. For more information, visit 


Marisa Ellis, Whatcom Community College PIO, 360.383.3310, 

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