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ICC offers Rise Above- financial aid to adult learners

ICC offers Rise Above- financial aid to adult learners

ICC college president, Dr. Dan Barwick (left) and Blake Escritt (right) at the December 2017 graduation ceremonies in the William Inge Center.

Independence Community College (ICC) introduced Rise Above, a program designed to provide adult learners with financial assistance in meeting their educational goals.


The program offers financial aid to eligible adults who have been out of school and may have already entered the workforce.


“Many people who start working full-time after high school may think they are no longer eligible for assistance,” said Laura Allison, Director of Financial Aid. “It doesn’t matter if you have been out one year or five, this program is designed to help you achieve your personal goals, whatever they might be.”


The scholarships will cover the student’s books and tuition and with no minimum course requirements for students to receive the financial aid. This means that students may be eligible for assistance even if only enrolling in one course at ICC.


“Having the appropriate level of educational attainment is the first qualifier businesses look at when deciding whether to employ a person, said Blake Escritt, a December 2017 graduate of ICC. “I chose to study business because it will help provide assurance to potential hiring managers that I am decision-maker material.”   


Escritt, who is originally from Soldotna, Alaska, is the founder and manager of Indy Tech Fix, a computer and technology repair and consultation service opened to the public and area businesses. The company located is in Independence, Kansas.


“My decision to get my associate degree was mainly as a hedge against the risk of my first business not being as successful as I hope.  If I have to go into the job market again, I want fewer of my applications to be discarded and I want more opportunities for advancement, said Escritt.


Scholarships for adult learners are not just beneficial to employees.


“Rise Above is appealing to businesses who support professional development,” said Christy Cutshaw, Associate Dean of Online and Outreach. “With courses available in the evening and online, it is a tremendous opportunity for their employees to pick up that extra class or skill, or even go after that degree they may be seeking.”


An article published by The Balance in October 2017 identified the top skills and attributes sought by employees, included: analytical, communication, interpersonal, leadership, teamwork and technical skills.


“Many businesses, especially retail, are always looking for stronger soft skills, customer service, and basic technology skills in their employers,” said Cutshaw.


Courses begin March 12, 2018 and will include Interpersonal Communication, Voice & Diction, English I & II, Developmental English, and Literature.


Adult students enrolling in courses this spring will also be paired with a Navigator, a counselor assigned to them to help them transition into being a successful college student.


Anyone interested in enrolling in courses this spring and receiving scholarships should contact Rebekah Peitz at 620-332-5605. Scholarship awards are subject to eligibility and availability. Businesses wanting to inquire into professional or workforce development opportunities should contact Christy Cutshaw at 620-332-5638.