Iowa’s community colleges were awarded $2 million in federal funding for the College and Career Transition Counselor (CCTC) Initiative as a part of the omnibus spending bill approved by Congress and signed by President Biden last week. The Community Project Funding was supported by Iowa Representative Marianette Miller-Meeks and will support shared positions between high schools and community colleges statewide.
“I left home at the age of 16 to attend San Antonio Junior College, before moving on to earn my bachelor's, master's, and medical degrees. I know the value of community colleges firsthand, and it was a pleasure to work with leaders and advocates in Iowa to ensure funds were available to help our students and staff succeed,” said Miller-Meeks. “As a doctor, I also understand the importance of making sure that our students are receiving the mental health care and support they need. Increasing access to quality school counselors will go a long way to helping mold our future leaders.”
There are already more than 20 college and career transitional counselors working across Iowa. This funding will allow the program to expand, particularly to underserved and rural areas. CCTCs assist Iowa high school students in exploring postsecondary options and preparing for careers with necessary training and education. The Community Project Funding will support at least 15 positions across the state.
“School counselors are stretched thin statewide with large caseloads and growing mental health concerns,” said Emily Shields, executive director of the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees. “This funding will support critical counseling services specific to helping students navigate their futures.”
The funding will be administered by Indian Hills Community College, and CCTC positions will be supported in all 15 Iowa community college regions.