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Pascrell, Gottheimer Announce $769K in Federal Grants to Passaic County Community College

Two awards will help expand educational opportunities for Hispanic students, increase the number of low-income students in postsecondary education

Today, U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05) announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded two grants to Passaic County Community College (PCCC) totaling $769,713. The Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program provides grants to assist colleges in expanding educational opportunities for Hispanic students. The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to help increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

“Students of Hispanic descent deserve to have the same access to educational opportunities as anyone else. Their success helps make our communities – and our country – great,” said Rep. Pascrell. “This federal investment in Passaic County’s Hispanic and low-income students is a game-changer for those seeking to further their education and participate in our economy. This award further proves that PCCC is an anchor in Paterson that has invested in our students of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds for decades. These much-needed grants are possible because appropriators in Congress did not follow through with President Trump’s FY 2019 budget request to eliminate the GEAR UP program. As a former teacher, I know there are fewer imperatives more vital than affordable and quality education. I will continue to fight for every federal dollar available that increases educational opportunities for all students across the board.”

“This $469k investment in Passaic County is a win for our children, our families, and for our community’s return on investment from the federal government,” said Rep. Gottheimer. “I'm proud that, working with local officials, we shifted these DOE resources away from Moocher States to Jersey. The Fifth District has already clawed back to New Jersey more than $290 per household – a 16% increase over recent years. The more we can encourage our mayors, council, and first responders to apply for and win these grants, the more our return will increase, helping cut property taxes, making living in New Jersey more affordable for families and businesses.”

“The United States Department of Education Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions (Title V) Grant will provide extraordinary opportunities for our students to become teachers through the development of a “Pathways to Teaching” program,” said Steven M. Rose, Ed.D., President, Passaic County Community College. “Careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) provide outstanding opportunities.  Far too often, students fall behind early in their educational studies and are unable to pursue these careers. Gear Up has proven to be most effective in ensuring that students will graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills to succeed in postsecondary STEM programs. Currently too few Hispanics are entering teaching and becoming much needed role models for urban youth.  This program will provide students with intensive academic advising and support to create pathways towards teacher certification and employment in public elementary and secondary schools. The College thanks Congressman Pascrell for his support in bringing this essential program to our College.”

Rep. Pascrell is no stranger to the fight for federal support of New Jersey’s students and colleges. In September, Reps. Pascrell and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05) announced a $300,000 grant to PCCC to prevent sexual violence on campus. Pascrell also announced in 2016 $2 million in federal education grants to Bergen County Community College and PCCC to promote programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

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