Westchester Community College (WCC) will receive an investment of $450,000 to continue its Money Smart Forum financial coaching program for another three years. This award is part of a $2.5 million grant from JPMorgan Chase to the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE) to develop and launch similar financial coaching programs at selected community colleges. The success of the Money Smart Forum in improving student financial behavior and increasing persistence and graduation rates demonstrated the need for JPMorgan Chase to continue their commitment to the program, which it has funded since 2014, by replicating practices developed at WCC.
“Westchester Community College is committed to serving its students holistically, focusing on both their academic success as well as their personal success,” said Anthony Trimarchi, managing director, J.P. Morgan Private Bank, and a leader of the firm’s Westchester and Hudson Valley Market Leadership Team. “The Money Smart Financial Coaching Program ensures students have the resources and skills needed to build wealth, manage their finances and best prepare for the future.”
Utilizing the WCC guidebook, Financial Capability through Financial Coaching, along with coaching and technical assistance, the Grant will serve more than 1,200 students at seven community colleges and one HBCU during a three-year period. Students will receive financial coaching which has shown to improve academic performance, reduce time to graduation and improve lifelong financial health.
“It is a testament to the strength of our program that WCC has been selected as the template upon which other schools can build their financial health programs,” said Dr. Belinda Miles, President of Westchester Community College. “Over 5,000 students at WCC have taken advantage of financial wellness programs, and we look forward to promoting economic advancement for thousands more of our students in the years to come.”
The RFP and grant opportunity will be open to community colleges who are committed to and able to recruit and deliver financial coaching to students, with priority given to those who serve predominantly first generation, historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students. Funds granted to the colleges will provide training, guidance, and technical support needed to hire staff, and to build a successful, sustainable program, with the assistance of the NCWE/WCC program support team. The grant will assist recipient colleges in developing a long-term business plan to embed financial wellness into the college’s strategic and budget plans, and to sustain the initiative over time.
Dr. Darlene G. Miller, Executive Director of NCWE stated, “As a nonprofit committed to supporting practitioners and workforce leaders to deliver equity-conscious and impactful workforce education programs, we believe that financial wellness programming is critical to addressing financial security barriers for workforce education learners and will serve to mitigate gender and racial equity wealth gaps.”
The RFP will be available on March 1, 2022. More information about the RFP and the grant can be found at NCWE Projects and Initiatives – The National Council for Workforce Education. Details of the WCC Money Smart Financial Coaching Program are available at Financial Coaching – Westchester Community College (sunywcc.edu)