The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TRE’s nursing program receives diversity grant

By Audrey Werth/ tr news editor

TRE Campus recently received a federal nursing workforce diversity grant to help disadvantaged students complete nursing degrees at TCC.

“We’re one of the few community colleges that have received the grant,” nursing director Deann Mitchell said. “We’re in the process of implementing it now. We are interviewing for the project coordinator, and we are selecting the students to serve now.”

The program, Project SOAR — Skills, Opportunities, Achievements and Results — will go into effect, helping approximately 210 students over two years, once a project coordinator is hired to administer the grant.

The grant will fund one project coordinator and an administrative assistant as well as any necessary equipment and supplies.

Nursing assistant professor Debra Price said the project coordinator will identify students who could benefit from Project SOAR, determine the subjects where they struggle and help them be successful in the nursing program.

“Let’s say you come in [as a member of Project SOAR] and maybe you have failed a math test and that has set you back in the [nursing] program,” Price said. “Then, maybe the focus for that student will be several remedial math courses.”

Once a student has become a part of Project SOAR, then the school can look into what actions would be most beneficial to help them through the nursing program, Price said.

The project’s goal is to increase the diversity of the local nursing workforce by helping students from disadvantaged populations complete the TCC nursing program.

“There are three tracks within the grant that students will be able to apply for,” Price said.

One track will serve new students who were not initially admitted because of low entrance exam scores — due to struggles with reading or math that could be fixed with tutoring.

The other tracks will serve what the program identifies as “parallel students” already part of the nursing school who could benefit from mentoring or other services to successfully complete the program or “time out students” who need to take a semester off from the program to improve skills.

To help these students, TCC will provide mentoring and tutoring in subjects where participants demonstrate weakness as in English — if it is a second language — reading or math.

Another aspect of the grant is to educate faculty as well as students about diversity.

A project abstract explains that “at least 80 percent of the faculty in the TCC nursing department will have increased understanding of the social determinates of health and will incorporate social determinates of health topics into existing courses.”

The project will also work to educate students in the program about social determinates.

“It’s a good opportunity for students who may not otherwise be successful in the program,” Price said.

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