Reporter’s notebook

Photo: Matthew Dembicki

  • Incentives to get vaccinated
  • Congress urged to give legal protection for DACA recipients
  • Illinois college to cover tuition for recent dual-enrollment students
  • Community college students among new HBCU Scholars

Incentives to get vaccinated

Community colleges and other higher education institutions continue to try to entice students and employees to get vaccinated for Covid before the fall term starts with in-person classes.

Long Beach City College (LBCC) said this week it will tap $1 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief funding to provide a $300 voucher for its campus bookstores to students to get the shot.

“The average age of our Long Beach City College students happens to be within the same age range that the Delta variant is affecting the unvaccinated,” said Mike Muñoz, interim superintendent-president of the Long Beach Community College District.

Central Oregon Community College is also tapping federal CARES Act and funds through the American Rescue Plan to offer the chance to win one of 100 gift cards valued at $500, $250 and $100. Employees and current students vaccinated by September 20 are eligible.

In Illinois, Waubonsee Community College is offering a $100 credit at its bookstore to students who are vaccinated after July 1.

Wallace State Community College in Alabama is providing cash. Students registered for the fall who present proof of completed Covid vaccination by September 15 will receive $150. These students will also be entered in a drawing to receive one of five additional $1,000 cash awards.

“As an institution of higher learning, with an outstanding reputation in the health sciences, and a National Center of Excellence in Nursing, we wanted to motivate students to take this step, and to make it easy for them to do so,” President Vicki Karolewics said in a release.

Congress urged to give legal protection for DACA recipients

The American Association of Community Colleges has joined more than 60 higher education organizations calling on Congress to provide permanent legal protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and all Dreamers.

“This is especially important in the wake of the July 16 ruling by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen that the use of executive authority to create the DACA policy was illegal, and that ‘the proper origination point for the DACA program was, and is, Congress,’” the American Council on Education (ACE) said in an August 4 letter to congressional leaders.

ACE, which wrote the letter on behalf of the organizations, said the ruling has stopped new DACA applications and increased the uncertainty for current DACA registrants.

“Only Congress can, once and for all, end the unacceptable legal and political limbo Dreamers — the young, undocumented, high-achieving individuals brought to our country as children — have been so unfairly and unnecessarily placed in for so long,” the letter said.

Illinois college to cover tuition for recent dual-enrollment students

Elgin Community College (ECC) has announced that new graduates of a local district high school who have completed and received credit for ECC’s dual-credit courses are eligible to have all tuition and fees covered for the 2021-22 academic year.

Forty-two students graduated from the district high school and completed a year of college with a combined total of 817 college credits thanks to the Accelerate College program.

“Even with our commitment to affordable tuition, we want to remove as many financial barriers as possible,” said Rodrigo Lopez, assistant dean of College in High School Programs. “Students can stay close to home or stay engaged in advancing their education while pursuing other endeavors, knowing they are benefiting from a high-quality education and not having to worry about cost.”

Community college students among new HBCU Scholars

Three community college students are among the 86 undergraduate, graduate and professional students named this week as HBCU Scholars by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

They are:

“The students who hold this honor are committed to creating a more just and equitable society through their civic engagement,” U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “They are leaders and change-makers in their communities, and I cannot wait to learn from them as they serve as ambassadors both for the White House Initiative and their institutions of higher education.”

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.