A pilot project - The Learning Center for Academic Success
will provide an adjunct to the existing services of the Skagit Valley College Student Services Offices by assisting the underserved
students, whose needs are currently not being met. The project, for which we request funding assistance, will make a difference
in the lives of prospective and existing students needing to hone their preparedness to enter higher education by providing
them with the basic skills necessary to succeed. These skills and strategies will improve academic performance including but
not limited to: eliminating test anxiety, increasing test performance, improving concentration and memory as well as study
skills, reading comprehension, time management, and note taking. The mission is to enhance the learning experiences for all
students by providing them the tools, skills, and strategies necessary to succeed. With increased access to higher education,
these individuals will also be provided greater opportunities for improved employment prospects and, in the end, an improved
quality of life.
The specific academic support that will be provided through the Learning
Center for Academic Success will maximize the student’s success in the courses they take by providing them with
supplemental instruction; through Study Smarter ® workshops, which will include tips and study strategies; as well as access
to a counselor/academic specialist for individual assistance. Furthermore, there will be an opportunity for staff to design
and implement a wide range of programs to fit the needs of the individual students, especially those individuals with Learning
Funds requested to create the pilot project will purchase needed printed materials (brochures, guides,
booklets, etc), promotion/public relations, web-link design and access, a part-time coordinator/academic coach, and capital
expense costs for material display racks, and supplies.
As this project is a pilot-program, we will be evaluating the program to ensure that the expressed
goals are being met. There are several easily accessible measures of the success of the program, the first will be the data
through the school of students entering the system who take advantage of the program and what the outcome is of their education,
i.e. degree, certificate, dropout, etc. That same student can then be tracked as the progress in the process of job searches
and the ultimate outcome of those searches. Interviews will be conducted of students while they are in the program determining
how applicable the program is to their needs in addition to an exit interview asking them to similarly rate and discuss their
experiences and whether the program helped with the issues that they presented at the time of their acceptance. Another long-term
methodology will be local agencies pursuing new businesses and industries that are compatible with the island environment
and marketplace, recruited, in part, on the educational and experiential background of our general population and their potential
We invite a member of your team to personally visit our community and school to learn first-hand how this program
will benefit not only the students but also the community-at-large. Once this pilot project has proven to be a well-developed
and designed service, it is our contention that it should be fully integrated into the existing Student Services at Skagit
Valley College and share in
future funding from numerous federal, state, and local funders. Funding sources would include additional TRIO funds, Perkins, SVC Foundation, and funds generated through
the regular budgetary process of Skagit Valley
College, which are generated through student fees, taxes, and other fund-raising.
We continue to pursue further funding, which could include, but is not limited to potential business and industry participation
through the Island County Economic Development Council or other such organizations working toward a more economic viable business
community on the island.
APPROPRIATENESS TO FUNDER’S MISSION
Helping People Achieve Their Potential ® (http://www.luminafouncation.org/ Accessed: May 1, 2005). “Lumina Foundation for Education, a private,
independent foundation, strives to help people achieve their potential by expanding access and success in education beyond
high school” (http://www.luminafouncation.org/ Accessed: May 1, 2005).
When we discovered information concerning the Lumina Foundation for Education and read the above statements,
we were filled with excited enthusiasm! The more that we read, the more we knew that the needs of our students is closely
tied to the interests and goals of the Lumina Foundation for Education; in particular, your program entitled Helping People
Achieve Their Potential®. Your stated goal, “We strive to expand access and success in postsecondary education.”
is exactly what we are striving for in our pilot program to establish a Learning
Center for Academic Success at Skagit Valley Community College in Oak Harbor, Washington.
The primary focus of our pilot program is to facilitate greater access to a successful postsecondary
education; and if successful, will indeed help people achieve their potential!
Lumina Foundation states that from time to time, they identify a special initiative that has the potential
to improve postsecondary access and success. We are confident that our project
will be such a “special initiative”.
Lumina also states the following: Lumina Foundation makes grants to organizations that are classified
as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and as public charities under section 509(a)(1), (2) or
(3) of the Code, or to public organizations that are designated under section 170(c) of the Code. Convinced that society has
an important stake in the success of all students, we also encourage eligible grant recipients to propose projects and activities
that involve communities, families and students in promoting educational access and success. In terms of the geographic scope:
Lumina Foundation makes grants within the United States
and its territories.
If this were an application being sent to Lumina Foundation or another grantmaker through the Common
Grant Application, I would also need to attach a cover letter and the following:
1. Verification of tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.
2. List of current board members (include member affiliations and any other pertinent information).
3. List of key organizational staff, including titles and main functions.
4. IRS Form 990 (if available).
5. Most recent audited financial statement (if available).
6. A one-page summary of actual income and expenses for the past two complete years; a one-page listing
of funding sources and amounts received from these sources over the past two years.
7. Organization’s current year operating budget.
8. A detailed budget of the project for which funds are being sought (if applicable).
9. If the project for which you are seeking funds is a collaboration with other agencies, include letters
or other documentation from the collaborating agencies.
PHILANTHROPY NORTHWEST COMMON APPLICATION FORM 4
Are you looking for a multi-benefit return on
your Investment dollars?
Support for postsecondary education is an investment that has return benefits for both state and local
governments and citizens living there. Private economic benefits are higher personal income, and lower unemployment. Public
economic benefits are decreased reliance on public assistance. The following speaks for itself.
Does College Matter?
Higher Education Benefits
Increased Tax Revenues Higher Salaries and Benefits
Greater Productivity Employment
Increased Consumption Higher Savings Levels
Increased Workforce Flexibility Improved Working Conditions
Decreased Reliance on
Government Financial Support
Reduced Crime Rates Improved Health/Life Expectancy
Increased Charitable Giving/
Improved Quality of Life for Offspring
Increased Quality of Civic Life Better Consumer Decision Making
Social Cohesion/Appreciation of Diversity Increased Personal Status
Improved Ability to Adapt to and Use Technology
More Hobbies, Leisure Activities
SOURCE: Institute for Higher Education Policy.
1998. Reaping the Benefits: Defining the Public and Private Value of Going to College. Washington, DC: Institute for Higher Education Policy.
Private social benefits
Public social benefits
volunteerism, and increased voting participation.
While all states showed some increase in earning potential that favors those holding
Bachelor’s degrees, in terms of average total personal income, the percentage difference varied
from state to state. Despite the range of differences, the pattern is consistent:
higher unemployment was reported among those with only a high school diploma than among those with
a Bachelor’s degree. An educated workforce with a lower unemployment rate also brings benefits to the nation as a whole
and to individual states. The health of individuals also clearly has a broader social benefit in that healthier citizens reduce
expenses on insurance, unreimbursed medical expenses, and other costs that are often passed on to other consumers.
Source: Institute for Higher Education.2005.The investment payoff. Washington D.C.:
Institute for Higher Education Policy.
College, Whidbey Island Campus, is located in downtown Oak Harbor. Oak
Harbor and the other communities on Whidbey Island
continue to see an influx of people attracted by the beauty of the island. Many of these individuals are semi-retired or early
retired especially from the various branches of the military. Current population figures for Whidbey Island are 71,558, which
includes NAS Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor,
Coupeville, Freeland, Langley, and Clinton. Ethnic diversity is represented by a 3.3% Latino population,
4.5% Asian and Pacific Islander; .9% Native American; and 2.0% Black. The median income is $45,500 with a per capita income
of $21,072. Seven (7) percent of the population and 5.10 % of the families on
Whidbey Island live below the poverty line.
The unemployment rate on Whidbey Island is 6.6 %. The
majority of the jobs, after the military and other forms of governmental positions, is service industry jobs – such
as Wal-Mart, K Mart and soon to be open, Home Depot. The majority of these jobs are part-time, in scarce supply, and do not
pay much over minimum wage with few, if any, benefits. In order to live on Whidbey Island,
with its’ high cost of living, individuals are forced to re-enter the job market. Competition for these jobs is fierce.
Many of these transplanted, job-seekers turn to Skagit
Valley College to learn new
job skills and/or further their existing education to finish a two-year degree and possibly on to a four-year school. The
Lumina Foundation states, “Lifelong learning is an economic necessity”.
According to the Lumina Foundation, “Some adult students may face learning obstacles and deficiency in academic preparation”. Individuals re-entering
academia after a long absence, have an obvious disadvantage compared to incoming, younger students entering college straight
from high school or after only a few years absence. As indicated by the Lumina Foundation, “Retention rates among adult students are lower than those of traditional college-aged students”.
Skagit Valley College has prided itself in attempting to
provide students and communities, in this rural setting, with user-friendly and effective access and at the present time,
Skagit Valley College’s Student Services Office provides counseling and career services to prospective as well as existing
students, aged approximately fifteen (15) to seventy plus (70+), including Oak Harbor, Coupeville, South Whidbey High Schools
(all Whidbey Island public secondary schools), and all eligible Home schooled Running Start Students. The present services
encompass academic counseling, disabled student services, and special student services. Yet, students are “falling through
the cracks” in the system. The situation that these students find themselves in is that which your own literature has
so eloquently described, “Statistics indicate that a more accurate description of today’s learner is an older
adult who attends class on a part-time basis, has family responsibilities, works out of the home and commutes to school. Just
as the demographics of these students are different, so are their needs.
If these individuals and others like them are to succeed, they need assistance beyond what is already
in place – they need a student center with a clear mandate to ensure the success of the students and create an environment
of empowerment through academic achievement. The project for which we request funds will make a difference in the lives of
the prospective and existing students needing to hone their preparedness to enter higher education by providing them with
the basics necessary to succeed. With this success in education as a positive foundation, their new found skills, education,
feelings of self-worth, esteem, and confidence will help propel them into better paying jobs here or off-island. It is our
hope, though, that some of these individuals may discover an entrepreneurial tendency within them that would manifest into
new business starts for our area. And, that with the increase of population with higher education, learned skills and expertise
that our island would attract the businesses looking for exactly these individual educational types as potential employees.
The federal government initiated the No Child Left Behind
program to ensure that all children have equal access to education. We suggest that what we need on Whidbey Island is a program
that is entitled Not One Shall Be Left Behind, which ensures that all of those
who are seeking to find a better life for themselves and for their families can do so through fair and equitable access to
an education that will enhance their lives and further their goals.
APPLICANT ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND
College, is a public community college,
operating under the supervision of a local Board of Trustees appointed by the governor. The district includes Skagit, Island,
and San Juan counties. SVC has campuses in Mount
Vernon and at the Whidbey Island Campus in Oak Harbor. The college also operates three centers: the south Whidbey
Center in Clinton, the San
Juan Center in Friday Harbor, and the Business Resource
Center in downtown Mount Vernon.
Skagit Valley College
is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and is a Servicemember’s Opportunity College. Selected programs of study
are approved by a Washington State Approving Agency for enrollment of those eligible for benefits under Title 38 and Title
10, U.S. code.
opened its doors in 1926 as an adjunct to Mount Vernon High
School and in 1970 opened the Whidbey Island Campus in Oak
Valley College is the second
oldest two-year college in the state.
Mission Statement of Skagit Valley College is to meet the diverse, lifelong educational needs of our community and develop
the potential of our students. The Vision Statement states that Skagit
Valley College is the primary
resource for learning opportunities in our community, providing a path to the future and a place where people can enrich their
lives today. Skagit Valley
College has a deep commitment to putting learning first and providing
students with challenging and affordable educational opportunities through many delivery modes.
College offers diverse courses and
program options. As a transfer Degree student, a student can take their first two years of college at SVC and then transfer
to a four-year college or university as a junior. Their graduates who go on to college do as well or better than students
who begin college at four-year schools. Or, if the goal is to re-tool or launch a new career, SVC offers Professional/Technical
degrees and certificates in some of today’s most in-demand fields: Nursing or Diesel Power Technology, top mention a
few. Individual’s who have been away from college for some time, will find the advising staff helpful in making the
transition less stressful. The basic skills courses are designed to help students brush up on subjects like Math, English,
and Reading, or complete high school, or get their GED. Individuals
may also access classes for the purposes of personal enrichment. Learning through Skagit
Valley College may be in the
classroom or online. English as a Second Language courses are also offered.
College has a commitment to diversity
and as such believes that students are unique individuals and all deserve an opportunity to learn and live in a positive environment.
This guiding principle is an important cornerstone at SVC. The goal is to foster values that promote open-mindedness, awareness,
sensitivity, and respect for differences.
Valley College is proud to have recently received three prestigious national awards, the MetLife Foundation’s Best-Practice
College Award; recognition as the #1 automotive training program in the United States from the Automotive Industry Planning
Council; and, the award for first place in the nation among small/rural community colleges for the college’s use of
technology from the Center for Digital Education and American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
The applicant for this grant request is Skagit
Valley College, Whidbey Island