Greater number of underrepresented students will cross the graduation stage and step into a waiting workforce
The CT Health Horizons initiative is making an impact on the critical statewide workforce shortage by allocating $30.5 million to partner colleges and universities to expand faculty, provide tuition support for students, and create strategic partnerships. The three-year, $35 million initiative is a partnership between the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU), the state’s Office of Workforce Strategy (OWS), the University of Connecticut (UConn), the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC), multiple state agencies, and Connecticut Hospital Association. CT Health Horizons is also a collaboration between higher education institutions and healthcare provider partners to grow and diversify the next generation of nurses.
An award of $1,908,750 was made to Goodwin University via OWS to recruit students for the following programs: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN), and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). Designed to provide scholarships for minority or low-income students, guidelines include having a home address in an Alliance School District, meeting criteria for federal Pell grant eligibility, and other considerations. Hardship requests can be submitted if students do not meet standard criteria. In addition, the funds will be used to hire faculty for ABSN, provide professional development, and purchase new equipment.
Notably, the Goodwin University Magnet School System will also be able to expand a certified nursing assistant (CNA) program at Connecticut River Academy, the University’s magnet high school, one of only seven schools to receive this specific type of grant support.
“We are so grateful for this award to Goodwin, which will help strengthen the statewide nursing infrastructure and in turn increase the capacity of Connecticut’s healthcare system,” offered Sandra Ward, Assistant Vice President for Advancement. “This funding will not only provide direct support to our students through scholarships, but also strengthen our nursing programs through faculty expansion and equipment upgrades, and nurture the next generation of health care workers through a nursing pathway program at the high school level.”
“This collaboration is the first of its kind and a model for how we can work together in the future,” said CSCU president, Terrence Cheng. “Over the course of three years, CT Health Horizons will provide or leverage tuition support for nursing and social work students and increase the diversity of students entering nursing and social work education. The program will also expand the number of faculty positions to enroll and graduate additional students and create innovative programs with healthcare providers and higher education institutions to build sustainable education and career pathways.”
Approximately $30.5 million has been allocated to partner colleges and universities to support nursing and social work students and programs. Funding for this initiative was distributed through a competitive but collaborative process building on the strengths of different colleges and universities and ensuring all communities are impacted in the state.
“The CT Health Horizons grant program is an innovative and impactful investment of state resources to rapidly expand the nursing and social work talent pipeline,” said Jennifer Widness, president of CCIC, of which Goodwin is a member. “[Our] member institutions are so grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this program which leverages public and private dollars, promotes diversity and incentivizes employer partnerships to train and retain individuals in high-demand fields that are facing significant shortages.”