$12 Million in Funding Available for Health Career Opportunity Program (HCOP) Grants

From the page announcing the 2015 HCOP grant opportunity, for which PA programs are eligible:

This announcement solicits applications for the FY 2015 Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP).  First authorized  in 1972, HCOP provides grants to eligible accredited health professions schools and public and private non-profit health or educational entities.  The program’s goal is to provide individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to develop the skills needed to successfully compete for, enter, and graduate from health or allied health professions schools.

HCOP focuses on three key milestones of education: high school completion; acceptance, retention and graduation from college; and acceptance, retention and completion of a health professions program.  The HCOP statutory authority includes a Funding Preference for applicants that utilize a Comprehensive Approach – an organizational model involving partnerships between several public or nonprofit private health or educational entities to establish, enhance and expand educational programs that result in the development of a competitive applicant pool of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who desire to pursue health professions careers.

The purpose of this grant program is to:

  1. promote the recruitment of qualified individuals (students and adult/non-traditional students, including veterans) from disadvantaged backgrounds into health and allied health professions programs;
  2. improve retention and matriculation rates by implementing tailored enrichment programs designed to address the academic and social needs of disadvantaged trainees; and
  3. provide opportunities for community-based health professions training, emphasizing experiences in underserved communities.

Applicants must develop and implement evidence-informed academic and social support activities and data systems that measure student improvements in grade point averages, retention and matriculation rates, standardized test scores, licensure exam scores and on-time graduation rates.  HCOP provides a variety of academic and social supports to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds through formal academic and research training, programming and student enhancement or support services.  The HCOP recipients provide counseling and mentoring services to assist students in successfully completing their education and training.  The program also exposes students to community-based health professions experiences in underserved communities.

In addition, HCOP provides student stipends and financial planning resources to students as well as information about health care careers and training.   Information related to financial planning resources may also be provided to parents/guardians of students interested in pursuing health careers.