This page is intended to keep our families & community up-to-date regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan (ARP). As new information becomes available, it will be posted here.
Dear Auburn Career Center Adult Workforce Students, Staff, and Community,
I am pleased once again to tell you that Auburn Career Center Adult Workforce Education was awarded additional monies from the U.S. Department of Education through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). “These funds support students and institutions towards recovery efforts so that we can emerge from this pandemic even stronger,” said Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. Acting Assistant Secretary for Post-Secondary Education. These funds more than double the emergency relief aid available to students and institutions already authorized under the Coronavirus Aide, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) relief legislation.
The ARP requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants or undergraduates with extraordinary financial circumstances. Institutions are expected to establish a transparent process for assessing need. Beyond Pell eligibility, other ways of prioritizing exceptional need could include students who may be eligible for other federal or state need-based aid or have faced significant unexpected expenses, such as the loss of employment, reduced income, or food or housing insecurity. The Department’s final rule on student eligibility for HEERF states that all students who are or were enrolled in an institution of higher education during the COVID-19 national emergency are eligible for emergency financial aid grants, regardless of whether they completed a FAFSA or are eligible for Title IV.
Auburn Career Center Adult Workforce Education may also use these funds to defray institutional expenses which may include: lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with the transition to distance education, faculty and staff training, and payroll. Specifically, Auburn can use these funds for: covering the cost of providing additional technology to students, such as laptops or tablets; operating additional class sections to enable social distancing, which includes hiring more instructors and increasing campus hours of operations; purchasing additional instructional equipment and supplies; replacing lost revenue due to reduced enrollments; purchasing faculty and staff training in online instruction; purchasing additional equipment and software to enable distance learning. Other approved uses of funds may be used as long as the public is made aware of the categories.
Auburn Career Center Adult Workforce Education’s adult director, treasurer, financial aid designee, executive director and the director of adult programming are working on plans to best utilize these funds. So far funds have been used for items including: the reimbursement to adult welding students for the last module of the program; tuition reimbursement to practical nursing students and other adult workforce students who either dropped the program due to COVID 19 or need to retake the program in the fall/winter; computers for public safety students, Practical Nursing students, and faculty to transition online as needed and to upgrade the technology for those programs; reimbursements to Auburn for teacher salaries and benefits needed to cover the costs for running multiple sections for programs to adhere to social distancing rules; replacing lost revenue due to students dropping from programs due to the pandemic; tuition assistance for students struggling financially; direct grants to students struggling financially; among other items. As Auburn Career Center finalizes the amounts that will be distributed to these various areas, we will post these dollar amounts to the website under the COVID 19 CARES Act section.
Auburn Career Center has signed and returned to the Department the necessary agreements and assurances. Questions related to the use of these funds can be directed to the Director of Adult Workforce Education, Michelle Rodewald at [email protected] or 440-357-7542 or the Treasurer, Sherry Williamson at [email protected] or 440-357-7542.
Director of Adult Workforce Education and Business Partnerships