Special to The Collegian

More Lorain County Community College students will have access to life-changing programs and support thanks to a $1 million gift from Medical Mutual. This gift to the LCCC Foundation represents the largest single corporate gift in the foundation’s nearly 50-year history.

This gift will support LCCC’s groundbreaking work in supporting student success. Specifically, it will be catalytic in the LCCC Foundation’s efforts to build an endowment to sustain the LCCC Emergency Assistance Program. The donation also will support LCCC’s cutting-edge Fast-Track short-term training program by establishing two scholarship programs: the Medical Mutual Bridging the Gap and Medical Mutual Momentum scholarship funds. 

“The generous gift from Medical Mutual will make a tangible positive impact for LCCC students,” said LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D. “By supporting students through emergency funds and scholarships, Medical Mutual is making an investment in the success of LCCC students and the future of our community.”

The LCCC Emergency Assistance Program, supported by donors to the LCCC Foundation, provides funding to help students overcome financial emergencies that could prevent them from remaining enrolled in college. This program has been highly successful in helping students overcome barriers and remain enrolled, ultimately earning their degrees or credentials.  

“Oftentimes, emergency assistance as little as $50 can be the difference needed to keep a student enrolled in classes and working toward their goals,” Ballinger said. “These funds are true game-changers for students.”

The Emergency Assistance Funds are distributed through LCCC’s Advocacy and Resource Center (ARC), which helps students access food, counseling, financial, and other support.

Medical Mutual’s gift also focuses on LCCC’s highly successful Fast-Track programs, which help students train for a career in high demand fields such as health care, IT and advanced manufacturing. Launched in  2020, Fast-Track offers individuals the ability to enroll in one of more than 30 high-demand programs to earn a certificate in 16 weeks or less at zero cost to the student. The Medical Mutual Bridging the Gap Scholarship will supplement existing funding sources to allow the College to expand the program, increasing access for those in the community needing to quickly train for a new career. Fast Track programs provide industry-recognized credentials that are stackable so that participants have the option to continue their education seamlessly to earn associate degrees or bachelors or master’s degrees offered through LCCC and its University Partnership. The Medical Mutual Momentum Scholarship will also provide an additional $500 scholarship to those students who complete a Fast Track credential and choose to pursue an associate degree at LCCC.

“Medical Mutual is beyond thankful for educational partners like LCCC, which is helping to put both students and our community firmly on the path for a better future,”,” shared Rick Chiricosta, Medical Mutual’s Chairman, President and CEO. “We know that this additional support for students improve both their chances of persisting in school and their health and well-being – all while helping to close critical skills gaps in high-demand fields like healthcare, IT and manufacturing.” 

Ballinger said the gift from Medical Mutual will provide vital assistance while creating a lasting impact.

“Medical Mutual’s gift has thoughtfully created a continuum of programming so that every student has the ability to access – and succeed – at LCCC,” said Ballinger.