TCC Foundation Names Lauren Brookey President
By EMILY RAMSEY
Mayor of Tulsa
WORKFORCE NEEDS: Lauren Brookey, vice president of external affairs at Tulsa Community College, was recently named president of the TCC Foundation. In the future, Brookey plans to maintain the foundation’s focus on private fundraising and grants and increase efforts on providing student scholarships based on community and student needs.
Lauren Brookey, vice president of external affairs at Tulsa Community College, was recently named president of the Foundation.
While overseeing the foundation has always been a part of her job description, “Now, I will just be shifting more of my energy toward it,” she says.
Moving forward, the foundation will maintain its focus on private fundraising and grants as well as increasing its future efforts on providing student scholarships based on community and workforce needs.
“Private fundraising and grants allow us to bring a level of excellence to that our general funding doesn’t allow us to do,” she says, citing examples such as faculty developmental education classes, building improvements and technology upgrades: “We wouldn’t be able to do these things without private funding.”
St. Francis Health System regularly makes significant investments in TCC’s nursing and healthcare programs in order to provide the best resources and equipment that will help students become better prepared to enter the workforce.
“If our materials and resources don’t match up with what is out there in the workplace, our students won’t be ready or properly prepared,” Brookey says.
As another example of private investment, in 2013, local company Enoserv announced its partnership with to offer a new Electrical Substation Technology program in response to the growing need for substation technicians. Enoserv provided equipment and industry expertise for the program.
An area of improvement that Brookey sees for the foundation is its scholarship offerings.
enrolls approximately 27,000 students annually, with a little over 3,000 of those students qualifying for the Tulsa Achieves program, which provides qualifying students with 63 hours of tuition support.
“Many people are under the impression that the majority of our 27,000 students are able to use Tulsa Achieves funding,” says Brookey.
However, to qualify for the Tulsa Achieves program, a student has to have graduated from high school the previous semester. The reality is that many students are adults looking to earn a degree, gain additional skills or change careers.
“We have a huge opportunity to support our other students who don’t qualify for Tulsa Achieves; we want to explore how to match those student needs with donor support,” which can come in many forms, Brookey says.
Institutions may choose to provide funding for students in a particular industry, such as healthcare or engineering, in an effort to grow the skilled workforce for that industry. Additionally, there could be private individuals who choose to donate because they see the value in individuals pursuing higher education goals, says Brookey.
In the future, in order to further TCC’s scholarship offerings, resources must be matched with community and student needs.
One way the foundation gains insight into community needs is by placing community leaders on its Board of Directors. “Our board members help us to create strong community relationships, and they make big contributions, sharing their guidance and expertise and providing a link to groups that we want to serve,” says Brookey.
In addition, Brookey realizes the important role that community colleges can play in people’s lives.
“Nationwide, community colleges are often the starting place for first generation college students and disenfranchised groups,” she says. “The foundation provides opportunities for people and organizations committed to providing access for unrepresented groups in the community.”