State Awards Grants for Nursing & Teacher Prep

(Bradenton, Fla., Aug. 23, 2006) -- The Florida Department of Education's Succeed Florida grant program awarded Manatee Community College (MCC) $753,773 to continue and expand nursing and teaching certification preparation programs that address critical shortages of qualified nurses in area health-care institutions and teachers in area schools.

A portion of the grant funds, $195,390, helps fund a new fast-track program at MCC Venice for 12 licensed practical nurses who want to become registered nurses. They can complete the program in three instead of the usual four 16-week terms.
Area hospitals will review and support the program and expand clinical rotation. The Suncoast Workforce Board will pay related expenses for qualified students.

Additional nursing grant funds are for continuation of two other nursing expansion projects. Last year's grant funds were used to add 36 new students at MCC Venice and develop a curriculum for an evening/weekend program at MCC Bradenton and MCC Venice. This year's funding will add another 36 first-year students at MCC Venice and 24 students in the evening/weekend program.

MCC received an $85,051 grant to continue its teaching certification preparation program for noneducation majors with at least a bachelor's degree, and $199,972 to expand it to MCC Venice. The purchase of two new videoconferencing systems will allow simultaneous classes for students at MCC Bradenton, MCC Venice and the Center for Innovation and Technology at Lakewood Ranch. MCC was one of the first community colleges to implement a program, known as an Alternative Certification Program, after it was authorized by the Florida Legislature. An initial goal of enrolling 50 students the first year was exceeded by more than 25 percent. The first cohort of 23 students graduated in May.

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