OTC and Community Foundation of the Ozarks announce $50,000 challenge grant

OTC and Community Foundation of the Ozarks announce $50,000 challenge grant

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Media Contact

Mark Miller
College Director of Communication 417.447.2655 millerm@otc.edu
Laura French
Coordinator of Public Information 417.447.2659 frenchl@otc.edu

Ozarks Technical Community College and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks announce a new $50,000 challenge grant initiative to support the Middle College program. The Middle College was created in partnership with Springfield Public Schools to help underachieving students complete their high school education while earning free college credit. The program, which is the first of its kind in Missouri, now serves over 100 students from the Springfield, Rogersville, Republic, and Everton school districts.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks will match $1 for every dollar raised by the OTC Foundation, up to $25,000, by June 30, 2013. The OTC Foundation will use the challenge grant funds to update computers and technology equipment for classrooms and labs. This technology would support the curriculum and specific career paths available through the OTC Middle College: early childhood education, diesel/automotive, computers, medical services, agriculture, and the new Healthcare Professions Academy (for high achieving students).

The CFO initiated this new challenge grant as part of the 2013 Springfield Metropolitan Grantmaking Program in response to its emphasis on addressing high-priority community needs - or "red flags" - identified in the Community Focus Reports for Springfield and Greene County.

Since 2004, the Community Focus Reports have noted local income and wage issues as "red flags." Stalled job growth, regional unemployment and funding challenges for OTC have been cited as emerging issues for the community. The Community Focus Reports are available at: www.springfieldcommunityfocus.org.

"Although Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) plays a critical role in training and retraining regional employees to meet employers' needs, it continues to face major funding challenges," the 2009 report stated. "OTC has the third highest enrollment of any community college in the state, yet ranks last in state funding."

"We are please to have this opportunity to partner with the Community Foundation again," said Hal Higdon, chancellor of Ozarks Technical Community College. "This grant will help us to improve the learning experience for our Middle College students, and to more effectively prepare them for the workforce."

For more information on making fully tax-deductible contributions to the OTC Middle College Challenge Grant, contact the OTC Foundation at (417) 447-2651 or browns@otc.edu.