Tax Credit Program boosts educational outreach at Bucks

$92,500+ donated this year through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program helps the college offer courses in high schools, support art programs and more

About 20 high school students each year go through Bucks County Community College’s Medical Pathways program, which combines academic courses with hospital visits to introduce students to all types of jobs and career tracks within the hospital setting. The program was one of several supported by the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program.

Over the past year, businesses have contributed more than $92,500 to support programs at Bucks County Community College for elementary, middle school and high school students. The donations are part of the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit, or PA EITC program, and made through the Bucks County Community College Foundation.

Grants from Fred Beans, Waste Management Inc., SofterWare Inc., UNIVEST, Mid-Penn Bank/First Priority Bank, PNC Bank, Hatboro Federal Savings, Fulton Bank, Covenant Bank, QNB Bank, and BB&T Bank have helped to fund innovative educational programming for kindergarten through 12th-grade students.

SofterWare Inc. has supported Bucks through the EITC program every year since 2013.

“SofterWare is proud to participate in the EITC program with funds directed to Bucks County Community College,” said Eleanor Stasio, the company’s director of implementation. “They are not only a client, but a valued partner in the continuing education programs for our staff.”

The programs supported include dual enrollment, which offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take college-level courses at their high school or at one of the college’s campuses. In the 2018-2019 academic year, EITC funds paid for tuition and books for 16 three-credit courses in six high schools. 105 students in fall 2018 and 94 students in spring 2019 enrolled in a dual enrollment course supported by the EITC program. EITC funds were also used to purchase books for 29 dual-enrollment students at Quakertown High School.

In addition, about 20 students each year go through the Medical Pathways program, which combines academic courses on Interpersonal Communication and Ethics with hospital visits to introduce students to all types of jobs and career tracks within the hospital setting.

Another program supported by EITC funds is Artmobile, the college’s traveling outreach museum. This year, Artmobile will visit 32 schools, 14 of which received subsidized visits. Approximately 18,000 K-12 students will have experienced “Planting Seeds” in Artmobile this year alone, making a total of 35,000 K-12 student visitors for the full two-year tour of the exhibit. For many students, Artmobile is their first, and sometimes only, museum experience.

Finally, EITC funds support the popular Kids on Campus day camp programs at the college for children ages 5 to 16. Camps range from sports, theater and cooking, to engineering, wilderness survival and computers. EITC funds were used to buy robot kits and engines/rocket sets for STEM camps, sports equipment, and to support the children’s theater camp production of The Jungle Book. This past summer, the college offered Kids on Campus STEM Clusters, designed as enrichment for school success.
The $92,500 in contributions since July 2018 were made as part of the state’s EITC program, which provides tax credits to businesses that make donations to support programs that benefit school-age children’s educational programs. Since its inception at Bucks in 2009, the college has raised $611,500 for EITC programs.

The BCCC Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational trust that provides expanded resources for the college’s growth and development. Foundation funds support instructional resources, campus facilities, scholarships and awards, cultural activities and special college projects. To learn more, visit bucks.edu/foundation.

For more information about the EITC program, contact Patty Smallacombe at 215-968-8144 or patricia.smallacombe@bucks.edu, or Christina McGinley at 215-968-8416 or christina.mcginley@bucks.edu.