ALAMOSA – Adams State University (ASU) will receive $850,000 in funding over three years to help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic earn postsecondary credentials and degrees. The grant was awarded by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, through its Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) Community Partner Program.
Because the pandemic displaced many workers, the state expanded COSI’s grant opportunities to support Coloradans who were laid off or furloughed, experienced decreased earnings, had job offers rescinded, or could not enter the workforce because of adverse economic conditions.
The Back to Work grant is designed to create a path to workforce opportunities for affected workers by providing support in accessing and completing credentials that align with the needs of the Colorado workforce.
“This grant is going to give people another chance. If your work prospects were affected by the pandemic, the grant is an opportunity to learn new skills or earn a degree, so that you can re-enter the workforce on a different footing,” says Chayne Boutillette, director of COSI programs at Adams State.
Funds from the grant will be used to provide programming/services and financial support for program participants, while support infrastructure and build-out programs for jobs and programs highly impacted by the pandemic and unemployment.
“For 100 years, our mission has been to provide educational opportunities to the people of the San Luis Valley. The Back to Work grant supports that mission. It’s also a vote of confidence, a recognition that we have a record of success in delivering on our mission,” says Kent Buchanan, Ph.D., vice president of student affairs at Adams State.
COSI was created to increase the attainment of postsecondary credentials and degrees for underserved students in Colorado. Overall, the project addresses this challenge in two ways: accessibility and affordability.
To increase accessibility, COSI funds programs that will help prepare students for postsecondary education, as well as support them through completion. To increase affordability, COSI, provides matching funds for community scholarships. COSI