Foundations Award Grants to PLANit Sarasota

The Giving Coast

PLANit Sarasota, the local college access network (LCAN) for Sarasota County, is partnering with State College of Florida and nearby LCANs Complete Tampa Bay and Reach Manatee to help support “stop-outs” (students who have attended college but have not attained their degree and are no longer enrolled) and “summer melts” (students who graduated high school and were accepted to college but never enrolled). Building on the successful work of Complete Tampa Bay, this regional initiative will provide free individualized coaching for Sarasota County and Manatee County students who have encountered challenges that have led them to stop attending college or to not complete enrollment. This two-year pilot initiative will focus on students who have attended or who have been accepted to State College of Florida. A completion coach will identify and work with stop-out and summer-melt students to find ways for them to resume or to begin their studies and go on to earn a college degree. In addition to one-on-one coaching, this project creates the Student Assistance Fund to help students cover expenses that hinder their abilities to continue with their education. At the heart of this initiative is removing barriers so that more students across the region can achieve their dreams of completing postsecondary education. Upon the completion of the pilot, PLANit Sarasota hopes to expand this important work to include Ringling College of Art and Design, New College of Florida, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Suncoast Technical College, and Manatee Technical College. Three of our generous local philanthropic organizations have made this work possible: Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, and Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Their financial support will help ensure that more students who most need extra help can reach their full potential. A college degree or high-value certification can dramatically alter the trajectory of a student and that student’s family for generations to come. This exciting initiative aims to do just that.

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