The Community College of Vermont campus on Main Street in Bennington. CCV also has a location in Brattleboro at 41 Harmony Place.

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BENNINGTON — In partnership with the Community College of Vermont, the Vermont Community Foundation is offering a total of $1,000 stipends to each student who enrolls in CCV’s free Early College program to pursue certificates in one of three short-term career training programs.

In an announcement issued Monday, the VCF said the intention of the stipends is “to expand pathways to promising jobs for high school seniors across the state.” Students who enroll in Cybersecurity Fundamentals, Graphic Design or IT Service Desk Specialist programs will be eligible.

The funding is provided through VCF’s VT COVID-19 Response Fund.

“These programs offer Vermont high school seniors an incredible opportunity to get a free jumpstart on college and career training,” Community Foundation President and CEO Dan Smith said in a release. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, when rising numbers of high school graduates nationally are deferring or choosing not to continue their education, we are doing everything we can to make it as easy as possible for Vermont students to pursue their post-high school pathways in ways that will help them and Vermont.”

CCV’s Early College program allows high school seniors to take four to five college courses at no charge and receive individualized academic and career advising from CCV’s advisors. Upon completion, students earn their high school diploma and 30 or more college credits — equating to $4,200 or more in tuition savings.

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The Community Foundation and CCV identified the three specific certificate programs based on findings from the McClure Foundation’s list of short-term career training programs it considers “best bets” for landing a promising Vermont job quickly.

Early College students in Vermont’s high school class of 2022 who enroll in the designated programs will receive $500 stipends in both the fall and spring semesters. The stipends can be used to help cover the cost of books, materials, transportation, food, fees, or other non-academic expenses associated with the cost of being a full-time student.

These students will also receive enhanced advising from a specialized counselor from the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Those who complete of the program will earn a workforce-ready certificate and can begin looking for employment or choose to apply their credits to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

To apply to the Early College program for September 2021 or to learn more, go to ccv.edu/apply/high-school or gotocollegevt.org. To learn more about how the Vermont Community Foundation’s VT COVID-19 Response Fund is connecting Vermonters with careers, visit vermontcf.org/learning-in-transition.

To learn more about Community College of Vermont, go to https://www.communitycollegereview.com/community-college-of-vermont-profile.