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LSCS gets grant for ‘career-related’ students

Lone Star College System received a $128,423 grant from the Texas Comptroller’s Office on Oct. 20 to fund scholarships for students enrolled in training for high-demand careers.

The scholarships will be distributed to students in the 2009-2010 academic year, beginning in the fall. Eligible programs for the scholarships include computer/IT support; nursing, dental and related health professions; and high-tech manufacturing and construction related – and there are many others as defined by the comptroller’s office.

This grant that LSCS received is part of $2.5 million in tuition money from the Career and Technical Scholarship Fund that the comptroller’s office disbursed this year to 54 Texas community colleges and public technical institutes. In 2011, the comptroller’s office will distribute another $2.5 million in tuition scholarship funds.

The fund is part of a new $25 million Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) program approved by the 2009 Texas Legislature to help Texans get technical training for careers in fast-growing, “high-demand” occupations.

“This scholarship fund will directly assist LSCS students, which in turn will help build a better Texas workforce,” said Eileen Booher, LSCS director of resource development and administration.

The public community colleges like LSCS and the public technical institutes received the JET scholarship funds based on a formula established by the comptroller’s office – 60 percent of the funds to certificate programs and 40 percent to associate degrees. The colleges received a proportionate share of the funding based on the number of degrees that they awarded to students during the 2007-08 academic year.

According to the comptroller’s office, scholarships are to be awarded to students seeking professional registration, certification or licensure in a high-demand occupation, where a certificate or an associate degree is the basic prerequisite for such registration, certification or licensure. Students must be legal U.S. residents and must also demonstrate a financial need.

The high-demand occupations cited in the JET program include many offered in certification courses and associate degree programs at LSCS. The comptroller will publish a list of approved training programs for high-demand occupations on an annual basis or more frequently if necessary. Currently, the list of programs as defined by the comptroller’s office, along with the U.S. Department of Education’s Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code includes: Computer & Information Sciences & Support Services (CIP 11); Construction Trades (CIP 46); Engineering Technologies/Technicians (CIP 15); Health Professions & Related Clinical Sciences (CIP 51); Mechanical & Repair Technologies/Technicians (CIP 47); Precision Production (CIP 48); and Science Technologies/Technicians (CIP 41).

The scholarship recipients will be determined by members of the Financial Aid departments at each of the LSCS campuses. Interested students should contact the Financial Aid office at the college that they are attending.

Lone Star College System consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Center, LSC-University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. With more than 59,000 students in credit classes this fall, LSCS is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and third largest community college system in Texas. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.