CHICAGO – The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) has granted over $9 million to 55 organizations, including 36 community colleges throughout Illinois to help address education and unemployment gaps.

Lewis and Clark Community College will receive $130,225.68 in funding from the grant.

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The funding will be used to help minority and low-income students as well as individuals with disabilities remove barriers to completing their education and career goals through the Innovative Bridge and Transition Grant program (IBT).

“The Illinois Community College Board is committed to bridging equity gaps in education by investing in our own community college system as well as other community organizations throughout Illinois that focus on removing barriers for traditionally underserved students.

Supporting and scaling effective and equitable education and career opportunities is critical to the ICCB mission,” said ICCB executive director Brian Durham.

This year, the ICCB is increasing funding from $4 million in 2021 to $9.1 million in 2022 to support innovative bridge and transition efforts that assist in the seamless transition of students between education systems as well as employment.

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These initiatives improve student transitions to and through postsecondary education and into employment, support transitions for individuals with disabilities, and scale programs that promote equity and diversity among those served.

The IBT grant funds are intended to help colleges and community organizations meet four main objectives:

Adult Education Bridge and Integrated Education and Training Programming: Create new and greatly expand bridge or integrated education and training programming, including basic reading, math, and language skills, occupational competencies, and employability skills.

Seamless Transitions for College and Career Pathways: Implement programs that provide seamless transitions from high school to college or between postsecondary institutions.

Wrap-around Support Services: Utilize transition/wrap-around services that provide students with the information and assistance they need to equitably access and persist along their career pathway.

Seamless Transitions for Students with Disabilities: Create comprehensive programming for individuals with disabilities that provides vocational services, psychological counseling, transitional and educational services, and job placement activities in order for them to live and work independently in the community.

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