U.S. Department of Education Awards $530,000 to Umpqua Community College to Help Recovery From Campus Shooting

Archived Information

U.S. Department of Education Awards $530,000 to Umpqua Community College to Help Recovery From Campus Shooting

May 16, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students awarded Umpqua Community College (UCC) in Roseburg, Oregon, a Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant totaling $529,623. The grant will be used to assist with ongoing recovery efforts following an October 2015 campus shooting that left an instructor and eight students at the college dead, and several more injured.

“The mass shooting that occurred at Umpqua Community College was another heartbreaking reminder of the price that families, friends, and loved ones pay when guns are easily accessible and mental health services are not,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “The resilience of the students and staff of UCC is inspiring. Through our Project SERV grant, the Department is helping them to strengthen the learning environment and move forward.”

The incident has had an overwhelming emotional impact on the students, staff and faculty of UCC, a two-year fully accredited, public community college nestled along the North Umpqua River in southern Oregon. The college provides college-degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities. Its students are primarily nontraditional – single parents, displaced workers, and individuals underprepared for college.

UCC will use its Immediate Services Project SERV grant to undertake several activities to restore the learning environment and to address the ongoing needs in the aftermath of the shooting. These activities represent a part of a comprehensive set of activities that UCC has begun or plans to implement throughout the upcoming academic year.

The community college plans to hire a full-time student support director, a recovery advising specialist and a mental health therapist.  The student support director position will provide leadership in assigned student development areas, supervise the mental health therapist, and develop and coordinate programs and services, including advising. The recovery advising specialist will monitor recovery of students impacted by the events of Oct. 1, 2015, and work with students to help them continue pursuing their educational goals. The mental health therapist will provide intake, assessment, and follow-up services for students, faculty, and staff. This therapist also will provide general counseling services and develop and coordinate programs and services related to mental health, student support and wellness. 

Project SERV provides funding for local school districts and institutions of higher education that have experienced a significant violent or traumatic event and need resources to respond, recover, and re-establish a safe environment conducive to learning. There are two types of Project SERV awards – Immediate Services and Extended Services. Immediate Services grants provide emergency, short-term assistance to affected school districts or colleges and universities. Extended Services grants assist school districts and colleges and universities in carrying out the long-term recovery efforts that may be needed following a significant, traumatic event. To date, the Office of Safe and Healthy Students has awarded more than $44.5 million to 137 grantees, including Umpqua Community College, since the grants program began in 2001.

To view a list of Project SERV grantees and award amounts, or to learn more about the program, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/dvppserv/index.html.