Spring Hill College President E. Joseph Lee II, PhD announced today that the College is being awarded a $3.2 million U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) Grant, a scholarship program through Health and Human Services. This will provide scholarship support for up to 45 nursing majors per year for five years, beginning in July 2020, and allows Spring Hill College to help build a diverse workforce while educating professionals to provide healthcare in medically underserved areas.
The SDS Program provides grants to eligible health professions and nursing schools for use in awarding scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have financial need, may be from an underrepresented minority or plan to work in disadvantaged communities. The program also connects students to retention services and activities that support their progression through the health professions pipeline program.
“Our nursing program has been named the best in the State of Alabama for four-year programs,” said President Lee. “We know that providing our nursing students with top-notch instruction and programs – alongside our commitment to our Jesuit, Catholic ideals – is vital. This scholarship opportunity will allow Spring Hill College to continue educating nurses committed to healing.”
“This grant will open doors that might be financially closed for some students,” said Kathy Sheppard, PhD, RN and Professor and Chairperson of the Division of Nursing. “It will provide a financial resource allowing them to have an education leading to a rewarding career in many possible areas including services to the medically underserved in our area.”
The formal grant application process for the College started in January 2020, in order for the scholarships to be awarded to the incoming fall 2020 class. Specific eligibility for the grant is administered through guidelines from HRSA with data from the College included in the decision-making. The grant award is the combined effort of staff and faculty in the Departments of Development and Admissions as well as the Division of Nursing.