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BSC awarded $150K to support digital outreach to adult students

Published: Aug 10 2023
BSC awarded $150K to support digital outreach to adult students - Photo
Bismarck State College (BSC) has been awarded a $150,000 grant from Lumina Foundation to improve and expand its digital presence and mobile outreach capabilities to support the engagement and enrollment of adult students, which includes under-represented populations, working students and parenting students.

“The timing of this award aligns with BSC’s strategic direction as a polytechnic institution to remove barriers for adult students so they can achieve their educational goals through affordable, hands-on learning,” says BSC President Doug Jensen.

According to Lumina, BSC demonstrated a commitment and clear vision for utilizing the grant funds to benefit this specific student population. Part of the BSC plan includes ensuring that mobile, online, and communication tools, including the BSC website, clearly outline pathways for adult learners, answer their specific questions, and direct them toward opportunities to find community and to be supported in their education at BSC.

“Our student body demographics are very broad. We have supports in place to engage with traditional students, but an adult learner’s path to enrollment looks different,” says BSC Vice President for Student Affairs Kaylyn Bondy. “Our goal is to engage and meet every student where they are by providing them the specific support they need to successfully complete their career pathway at BSC.”

In addition to the grant funding, BSC will also receive technical assistance from TrendyMinds, a full-service digital marketing agency.

“BSC’s polytechnic education model supports adult learners whether they are attending college for the first time, or they’re already in the workforce and looking to advance their career by upskilling. BSC offers short-term, flexible, and adaptable programs,” says BSC Dean of Enrollment Management Karen Erickson. “This new grant and technical assistance will help us  provide students with easy access to information they need to make the educational and career pathway decisions that are best for them.”

BSC was one of six institutions to receive the Lumina grant. The other colleges selected were Iowa Lakes Community College, Blackhawk Technical College, South Piedmont Community College, Central Wyoming College, and Guam Community College.

"We intentionally focused on smaller colleges. These colleges are vital to education access and economic mobility and need additional investments to bring what they have to offer to the hands of today's students,” said Mary Laphen Pope, strategy officer for community college participation at Lumina. We know that most people access the internet using mobile devices, which is why all colleges should fully embrace mobile technologies as part of their student outreach and success strategies."