Hand Up Grant (HUG)
Increasingly WCTC students face economic challenges as they work to complete their educational journey.
The "Hand Up Grant" (HUG) was developed to assist WCTC students in situations that would prevent them from continuing their education due to an emergency financial issue. The HUG is used to assist students who do not receive any financial assistance or scholarship funding. Students must be nominated for this grant by a WCTC Counselor.
Waukesha County Technical College opened a "Campus Cupboard" food pantry for students in need. The cupboard, located in the WCTC College Center, was opened to help students who would otherwise struggle with hunger. In an alarming new trend, college students are skipping meals to cope with the cost of tuition and a tough economy.
"Last spring, WCTC staff surveyed students to find out if there was a need for a Campus Cupboard at WCTC," said Kelly Ratliff, assistant director of Student Development. "They received almost 500 responses from students and the results were overwhelming."
"When we surveyed our students last year, nearly 40 percent of them reported skipping meals in order to save money," said Ratliff, who organized the Campus Cupboard. "Some students said they were skipping meals daily and others commented they skipped meals so they could feed their children first," she said.
Students who utilize the cupboard are asked to show their student ID and are limited to one pre-packed bag of food, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner items. The cupboard will help students meet their basic needs and perform better in the classroom, Ratliff said.
"We know that some of our students are struggling to make ends meet as they complete their educational journey," Ratliff said. "We hope that by providing nutritional support at our Campus Cupboard, we can assist students in their success at WCTC and beyond."
Over 850 students applied to receive their degree, diploma, apprenticeship and/or certificate from Waukesha County Technical College this past spring. A record 405 graduates took part in WCTC's Commencement held on May 23, 2012.
The keynote speaker was Rep. Paul Farrow, a WCTC alumnus. At the ceremony, Tom Dalum, CEO of Dueco, Inc. received the College's "Citizen's Service Award" for his contributions to the WCTC and the Waukesha County community. Tom served on the WCTC Foundation Board for ten years, and served as Chairperson from 1998-2000.
New this year, graduates were given maroon-colored "Stoles of Gratitude" from the WCTC Foundation in recognition of their achievement. Students were encouraged to pass the stoles on to someone in their life who helped them succeed or reach their educational goals.