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Scholarships Enable HCC Students to Study Nursing at UST
The Houston Community College/University of St. Thomas Foster Scholars Program will enable five Houston Community College transfer students to complete their degree in nursing at the University of St. Thomas. A $260,000 gift from Harriet and Joe Foster will provide full-tuition scholarships for five HCC students who transfer to complete their undergraduate degree in nursing within two years.

The University of St. Thomas is in the final stages of reopening its School of Nursing to address the growing shortage of nurses across the nation. St. Thomas will offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and enroll the first class of students by 2012. The scholarships provided by the Fosters will enable HCC students to pursue their educational goals, expand the UST program and help Texas meet the critical demand for nurses.

Because of the cost of higher education, obtaining additional support for low-income students is critical. Many face financial challenges and have families who do not understand the impact of education on an individual's life-time earnings. Funding constraints, time limitations and lack of resources are all barriers to a transfer student's participation and completion and low-income students who must work during their academic careers are less likely to complete their studies. The HCC/UST Foster Scholars Program will provide for five HCC nursing students to transfer to the University of St. Thomas, giving them support and allowing them to devote their energy and time to education.

UST and HCC have enjoyed several successful collaborations including the 2008 – 2010 College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This grant provided funding for the renovation of the HCC Central Campus STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) labs as well as funding for students from both institutions to work on collaborative undergraduate research programs. Both institutions receive funding from the National Science Foundation for STEM scholarships and a partnership has been created to recruit those HCC scholarship recipients for the UST program, providing a seamless transition to baccalaureate-level studies. The HCC/UST Scholars Program will enhance future collaborations between the two institutions.

Harriet and Joe Foster have a long history of making thoughtful contributions to education in Houston. The Fosters actively support the community college model and have provided scholarship opportunities for students who attend Houston Community College. Harriet Foster has been a member of the HCC Foundation Board since 2001. The scholarships funded by Harriet and Joe Foster will provide a lasting impact on the recipients’ lives and their future careers.

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