EWC Dean of Students Selected to Participate in National Program
November 15, 2004
(Torrington, WY) Marilyn Cotant, Eastern Wyoming College's Dean of Students, was recently selected to be a part of the Lumina Foundation for Education, along with 5 other college professionals from all over the United States, to form an Initial Advisory Committee, for the "Emergency Financial Aid Program for Community College Students." The Lumina Foundation for Education has contracted with Scholarship America to design and test an emergency financial aid program for community college students who might otherwise be forced to drop out of school after incurring financial difficulties. Funds will be granted to colleges to use in assisting students who encounter sudden financial emergencies to prevent them from dropping out of school. Three primary goals have been set for the program: 1. Provide emergency funds to students so they may remain in school, 2. Encourage community colleges to set up or expand an outgoing emergency fund to assist students, and 3. Build expectations for community colleges to develop plans to use community resources for raising funds to assist students. Ten community colleges will be selected out of twenty applicants to participate in the three-year pilot project. These community colleges will come from five states; Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
The initial advisory group of three to five members will be convened to introduce the program. Their tasks will include reviewing materials, reviewing applications, selecting ten colleges to participate in the program, and recommending a consultant to gather data and provide information about identified emergency needs and how to scale dollars for allocation over three years. After ten participating schools are selected, one representative from each school will be added to the advisory group. The advisory group will be involved in selecting a name for the pilot program, determining eligibility requirements for students to request funds, developing a student application for all colleges to use, determining procedures for colleges, and developing guidelines to aid colleges in planning how they will establish or raise funds for emergency aid.
The advisory committee has been communicating through conference calls to make their decision on the final ten colleges. Then on January 23rd, 2005, the advisory committee will meet for the first time in Tampa, Florida to award the ten colleges that were chosen and to continue the planning process. One representative from each college will be there to accept their awarded grants.
Cotant commented, "Emergency loan funds are a very critical component of retaining students and EWC is currently exploring ways to increase the amount of emergency loan funds available on our campus."
EWC is not eligible to participate in this program and Cotant is able to serve on the committee because Wyoming is not one of the states targeted by the Lumina Foundation.
Jack Bottenfield, President of EWC commented, "As President of Eastern Wyoming College, I am very pleased that Marilyn and EWC are honored by Marilyn's selection for this important committee working with the Lumina Foundation. In addition to being an excellent and very professional administrator, Marilyn is a very caring and dedicated person who always keeps the interests and needs of students foremost in her thinking and in her successful career in Student Services. We are very fortunate to have Marilyn as a long-term administrator at EWC and we congratulate Marilyn upon her selection for this committee."