Seattle Central overcomes $2.5 million technical glitch

When CHS lost our homework, we could have used help like this. It took two senators and an investigation by a computer forensics company, but administrators at Seattle Central Community College breathed a large sigh of relief this week as they have learned the school’s application for a five year, $2.5 million annual grant program will not be rejected because of a technical error. In a statement released by the school, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell are thanked for “working behind the scenes” on the school’s behalf to have Central’s application for federal funds reinstated after a computer forensics firm provided proof that SCCC had submitted a portion of the application Washington D.C. said was missing. Here’s additional coverage from the Seattle Times and the statement released by SCCC:

Seattle Central Back in the Race for Federal Program

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today that Seattle Central Community College would be allowed to remain in the grant competition for federal TRIO program funds.

The TRIO program provides academic assistance, advising and counseling for low-income, first-generation, and disabled college students. The five-year grant is worth about $2.5 million to Seattle Central; the college has been a recipient of the grant since the 1970s.

Seattle Central’s eligibility to compete for the next funding cycle has been in jeopardy because of a dispute regarding an alleged technical error in its grant application. The college provided evidence from a computer forensics company to confirm that the required information had indeed been submitted.

Seattle Central submitted a formal appeal and prevailed upon its legislative delegation to advocate for the college.

“We are grateful for the efforts of Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, who have been working behind the scenes on our behalf,” says Gary Oertli, interim president of Seattle Central. “They were able to persuade Secretary Duncan not to penalize students because of a technical error in our application.”

Seattle Central serves 12,000 students per year and is among the state’s most diverse community colleges in terms of age, ethnicity, cultural and educational backgrounds. The TRIO program at Seattle Central funds seven full-time employees.

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