The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act, was passed on March 27th, 2020 to provide direct relief to those negatively affected by COVID-19. A total of $2.2 trillion was allocated and of that money, approximately $14 billion was given to the Office of Postsecondary Education as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, or HEERF.
Schools were able to apply for the CARES Act grants in several stages, all with a different focus on how to utilize the money. While some of the money was intended to assist students directly, other money was available to help schools defray the cost of ensuring student safety when it came to providing PPE, costs associated with disinfection of public places or costs associated with providing education remotely.
Schools were also able to utilize some of the money to cover lost revenue as a direct result of COVID as well as salaries of certain individuals. There are strict reporting requirements schools must follow and our current reports are available on our website at www.wcscc.org.
In total, WCSCC has been able to help 81 students with emergency grants totaling almost $125,000 going directly to students. This money helped with expenses related to the disruption of their program due to COVID-19 or to provide the resources for students to purchase books that were not previously included in tuition. Students were able to apply for a portion of these grants and were awarded based on their need..
WCSCC has also been able to purchase several pieces of equipment to help ensure students are able to maintain social distancing in class and labs. Some of these pieces of equipment include: water bottle filling stations, hand sanitizer dispensers and other safety equipment to be used throughout the facility. They were also able to purchase blood pressure simulators and an EKG simulator for the Practical Nursing and Medical Assisting programs. Along with that they also purchased an additional clinical mannequin for the nursing program.
Through the CARES Act, WCSCC was able to assist their students during a stressful time that everyone was unprepared for. The funds used will impact the school and their ability to provide a safe environment for students for years to come.