Many who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 are finding opportunities for growth at Prince George’s Community College (PGCC).
“We are uniquely positioned to be responsive to the needs of adult learners who need to skill-up and retool in what will be a post COVID economy,” says PGCC President, Dr. Falecia D. Williams. “No one was anticipating what has happened with the pandemic, and part of what we do is try to make sure that we are positioned to help people get back on their feet.”
For 62 years the college has served first-generation students, working parents, veterans, and seasoned professionals, offering a variety of short-term training programs that put students on a direct path to securing a job. The learning experience not only focuses on workforce development, but also support services for students in need.
“One of the things that the pandemic has highlighted for us, is a greater need to focus on technology,” says Dr. Williams. “The digital divide is real as well as the need for additional financial support.”
To address those needs, PGCC has established numerous programs and scholarships that allow students access to laptops, financial assistance, and resources to combat food insecurities. The college also offers job-seeking tools to members of the community, at no cost.
“While we are really pleased to have the opportunity to provide this level of assistance, there are needs that are unmet,” says Dr. Williams. “We like many other entities are seeking support, through philanthropy, towards our foundation for our scholarship fund.”
As the pandemic continues to impact higher education, PGCC is reimagining what the landscape will look like for students now as well as in the future.
“There will be a greater need for colleges to provide classes in a variety of formats,” says Dr. Williams. The virtual learning will likely become the norm moving forward, however traditional face-to-face offerings will remain relevant as well.
“When we think about the mission to radically improve education attainment levels in the state of Maryland to local levels of our county, it’s going to take us working together through the entire pipeline that begins with preschool and extends all the way to the university.”
During these unprecedented times students are encouraged to seek the opportunities that are available to them.
PGCC is an open access institution where “you can do and become anything that you apply yourself to,” says Dr. Williams. “Be determined, persist and take action.”
To learn more about PGCC’s continuing education and workforce development programs, visit www.pgcc.edu and search “continuing education and workforce development.”