Polk State College Foundation was awarded a grant from the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation to aid students in navigating the challenges of transitioning to a new learning environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $6,000 from the 2021 Impact Polk Grant was allocated to the “Nipping Emergency Situations and Technology Shortfalls” (NESTS) Fund created by the Polk State College Foundation during the pandemic to assist students with emergency needs such as tuition and equipment to ensure they could successfully complete their respective programs.
At the onset of the pandemic, many classes were switched to a remote setting and a number of healthcare clinical rotations were interrupted.
As programs faced pitfalls during the transition, two of Polk State’s Health Sciences programs experienced a mandatory need of masks for students to perform their clinical rotations. The grant provided 28 students from the Cardiovascular Technology Program and the Respiratory Care Program with N95 respirators and fit tests. Students from these programs were able to successfully complete their clinical rotations without the worry of obtaining the necessary required equipment thanks to the GiveWell Community Foundation support.
In addition to a need for equipment, students in their final year of the Respiratory Care program encountered fully remote training when they would have normally been in a classroom. The students did not receive the same experience as they would have in-person and were offered a refresher course prior to the National Board Exam to ensure that they received the imperative in-person training needed to succeed. The grant covered the balances of 13 students to participate in the course.