You may recall two new programs that MCO was proud to announce in April 2019 that helped members reduce the cost of higher education and help pay back Member’s debt from having to pay for their academy.
MCO launched the Academy Debt Assistance Program and a general Student Debt Assistance Program. Please see the details of those programs below.
The Academy Assistance Program dispersed awards of $500 each to current MCO members who paid out of pocket or got into debt to get their corrections training at a community college in 2014 or 2015. Switching to community colleges for training was a failed experiment, and MDOC returned to the paid academies in 2015. The winners facilities are listed below: LRF, ICF, LCF, STF, RGC, MRF, WHV (x2), ECF (x3), JCF, LMF (x3), WCC (x2) and SLF.
The Student Debt Assistance Program awarded grants of $500 each to current MCO members who have student loans from earning an undergraduate degree. The facilities receiving grants are listed below: ICF, JCF, RGC, RMI, ECF, LCF, STF, SLF, and LMF (x3).
- These programs will run on a trial basis this year. After we assess their value to members and effectiveness, MCO may or may not offer them in future years. PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!
- Qualified applicants were entered into a drawing to win one of the awards.
- You must have been an MCO member in good standing for at least six months prior to submitting your application
MCO leaders have decided to try these programs this year because we need to do something to address the challenges of our time. If we don’t do it, no one else will. We have asked the MDOC and the legislature many times over the years to reimburse the COs who had to pay out of pocket for training other officers have received for free. They have not been receptive. It’s time we take action ourselves.
College debt was one of the most-discussed topics at MCO’s member listening sessions over the past few years. Members said the strain caused by college and other financial burdens worries them and their families. MCO leaders and staff started to brainstorm more ways to help members with this challenge. For nearly two decades, MCO has offered a scholarship program that has been very popular among members. Since its start in 2001, the scholarship program has helped 360 members send their children to college. Also this year, MCO introduced a free online college benefit. Now we are, on a trial basis, expanding our higher education assistance to members and their families to make an even greater positive impact on your lives. We are listening.