Kaiser Permanente supports Baltimore community colleges in campaign to expand access to higher education

Sep 22, 2021 | by Hope H. Davis | 443.840.5053 (office) | 410.971.5560 (cell)

Kaiser Permanente has teamed up with Community College of Baltimore County and Baltimore City Community College to connect individuals facing economic injustice with low- cost and tuition-free opportunities. With the help of a $75,000 commitment from Kaiser Permanente, CCBC and BCCC have increased outreach to those for whom the cost of living outpaces what they earn – sharing that a college education is financially feasible and leads to better income earning employment opportunities. For Kaiser Permanente, this initiative exemplifies the healthcare organization’s commitment to advance economic equity and expand educational opportunities to communities of color.

This campaign stems from Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing partnership with the United Way of Central Maryland to support research, advocacy and policy solutions that seek to enable low-income, working class Marylanders to meet their essential needs such as food, housing, healthcare, childcare and education. This historic partnership between CCBC, BCCC and Kaiser Permanente advances the initiative – called ALICE (Asset Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) – by working to address the disparity among low-income, working families in accessing low-cost or tuition-free higher education opportunities.

“Our mission at Kaiser Permanente is to improve the health of the communities we serve, and we know that equitable access to economic opportunity and higher education are directly linked to health outcomes and overall well-being,” said Celeste James, executive director of Community Health at Kaiser Permanente. “By supporting Community College of Baltimore County and Baltimore City Community College we are expanding access to affordable higher education options and investing in the long-term economic success of the Baltimore community.” ​

With their open-access missions, CCBC and BCCC collectively serve more than 70,000 students annually, offering an affordable, quality education to some of Baltimore’s most vulnerable populations. With resources available to assist students, there is no reason to forego a college education or workforce training and create a mountain of debt for anyone interested in enrolling at either institution. ​

Recognizing the hardship brought on by the pandemic, CCBC pooled all funding sources – federal aid, scholarships, stimulus funds and more – to provide its students with a tuition-free opportunity. As a result, more than 80% of students received full or partial tuition assistance during the fall 2020 semester. CCBC is using that same strategy in 2021 to help ease the cost of a college education for interested students. The institution sees itself as an important component in leveling the playing field on the road to economic recovery. ​

​“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it has shown us yet again the importance of CCBC’s open door mission to provide access and opportunity for low income and minority populations,” said CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “We are pleased to have Kaiser Permanente’s support to help students become upwardly mobile, earning a credential that leads them to a better life and better jobs.”

BCCC is at the forefront of working to remove financial burden and other obstacles that students must navigate to succeed in college and to obtain quality employment. This is particularly true during the pandemic when the College committed to securing funding and scholarships that provide students with tuition-free courses, flexible schedules, reduced cost textbooks, and enhanced learning opportunities. As the College continues to eliminate barriers for completion of associate degree, certificate, and workforce development training programs, they are fueling the economic engine in Baltimore communities and the state of Maryland. ​

“BCCC continues a 75-year commitment to serving the Baltimore community with high-quality low and no-cost education.” said BCCC President Debra McCurdy. “Our partnership with Kaiser Permanente elevates our ability to make higher education happen so that students can gain the skills they need that lead to successful careers.”

Visit ccbcmd.edu or bccc.edu to learn more about low and no-cost educational opportunities. ​

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About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve almost 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.

About the Community College of Baltimore County (www.ccbcmd.edu)
Since 1957, CCBC has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education empowering generations of area residents to transform their lives and the lives of others. Each year, more than 50,000 students enroll at the college’s main campuses, extension centers and online to make their starts, earn degrees, launch and build careers. CCBC offers the region’s most expansive selection of degree, certificate and workplace certification programs that prepare students for transfer, job entry and career advancement in such industries as business, education, health care, information technology, cybersecurity, construction and transportation. Designated as the “Best Community College” among the Maryland Daily Record’s 2020 Reader Rankings, CCBC is also nationally recognized as a leader in innovative learning strategies and among the nation’s top associate degree producers.

CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267.284.5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

About Baltimore City Community College (www.bccc.edu)
For nearly 75 years, Baltimore City Community College has proudly served its community, creating opportunities for residents, and helping fuel the region’s economic growth. We train, educate and support people from Baltimore and around the world, giving them the tools they need to build better lives. From associate degree programs and certificates to workforce training, we serve the needs of government, business, and non-profit organizations while providing students the skills they need to transfer to four-year institutions or enter professions in business, STEM, and the arts. We are building and expanding partnerships as we continue to offer high-quality academic preparation in high-demand careers.

Baltimore City Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Baltimore City Community College’s accreditation was reaffirmed by MSCHE on June 25, 2015 following an extensive self-study process. Baltimore City Community College has been accredited by MSCHE since 1963.

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