Ryan McCoy, the new executive director of the Front Range Community College Foundation, is passionate about education. As a teacher in the college classroom, he sees how education enriches the lives of students. Through his experience with the Foundation, he understands the challenges students face and overcome as they fight for an education and a better future.
“Working with Foundation Scholars has been very personally rewarding,” Ryan says. “I see every day the difference a scholarship makes.”
Focus of the FRCC Foundation
His three top areas of focus for the foundation include:
- Student success – increasing funding for scholarships and providing even more deserving students with the financial means to get an education.
- Capital and program support – funding academic and career/technical programs that open the doors to better jobs.
- Faculty and staff – listening to their needs and ideas, and finding more professional development opportunities.
Scholar Success Program
Ryan was part of the FRCC team that developed the foundation’s Scholar Success Program— one of the few in the country. “I am very proud of this program,” he says. “Since its implementation, scholars have completed their associate degrees and/or certificates at a faster rate than FRCC students as a whole. Plus it gave us the opportunity to work with Dr. Kris Binard, who was the true brains behind the program.” Kris is FRCC’s associate vice president of enrollment management and student success.
Scholars must attend a success conference at which the foundation team and community and industry leaders make presentations on time management, personal budgeting, and more. They must complete midterm grade check-ins and receive help if any of their grades are faltering.
Support from Community Leaders
“Our donors are compassionate and caring,” Ryan says. “Many reach out to the foundation. Most have ideas of how or whom they would like to help with scholarships. When the college is seeking support for a new program or to grow a current program, we reach out to leaders in the community and ask for their support. We seek the advice of our faculty and staff. We listen and learn. Donors are essential to our vision, and it is important that they see themselves as stakeholders in our scholars’ success.”
Providing Access to Education
“We have a lot of success stories,” Ryan says, “and I delight in sharing those stories. For example, we have a graduate of FRCC about to graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver. When he was a child, his parents cleaned nightclubs after closing. They couldn’t afford child care, so they would bring their children along with them. His story is a terrific example of the challenges some of our students face in obtaining an education and clearly demonstrates the educational access and opportunities that FRCC provides.”
Our Donors Make a Difference
“At FRCC, our students are working moms, dads, and single parents, balancing jobs, family, and their education. A staggering 67 percent have an annual household income of less than $20,000. The foundation makes a difference. Our donors make a difference. And, our instructors make a difference. Our scholars repeatedly underscore how important their scholarships are to them not only financially but because they also demonstrate that someone believes in them. There’s no other place I’d rather be.”