KEYS Program (Keystone Education Yields Success)
Do you receive Cash Assistance/TANF or Food Stamps/SNAP? If so, KEYS is for you!
KEYS is a state-run workforce development, employment and training program designed to help eligible students attend and succeed in college.
KEYS is a collaborative program between the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Pennsylvania Community Colleges and is designed to assist recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrolled at, registered for, or interested in enrolling at any of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges.
KEYS is designed to provide a range of services to meet individuals’ needs, including access to supports and community college services and resources.
KEYS is based on human-centered design and includes an appropriate combination of case management, coaching, and peer-to-peer experiences to develop a career pathway through upskilling, certificate, and/or associate degree program completion.
The primary goal of KEYS is to provide the services and supports necessary to assist students in completing educational activities which will eventually lead to employment and self-sufficiency.
Just a few of our KEYS Student Success Stories
Student Support Includes:
At the heart of the KEYS program RACC is our professional student facilitators. Each student is assigned a student facilitator who will use a holistic, intensive, human-centered approach to supporting students to:
- Develop a career pathway
- Assess barriers to successful completion
- Navigate the college experience
- Career Coaching
- Acquire financial assistance beyond financial aid
- Refer to academic supports and community resources
Special Allowances (SPALS)
TANF and SNAP recipients may be eligible for special allowances from the County Assistance Office(s) (CAO) when they are participating in KEYS. These allowances include:
- Child care
- School/training registration fee (not tuition)
- Books and school or training supplies
- Test fees
- Equipment/tools needed for school/training
- Car purchase
- Car repair
- Motor vehicle operator fees
TANF Incentive Program
TANF students earn financial incentives to alleviate barriers they may have throughout their enrollment in KEYS.
SNAP Financial Assistance Program (SNAP FAP)
Students enrolled in KEYS who receive only SNAP benefits may be eligible for financial assistance to cover expenses that can not be met through SPALS.
Academic and Training Opportunities include High Priority Occupational Programs (HPO)
- General Equivalency Diploma (GED) / High School Equivalency Program (HEP)
- Credit and Non-Credit Certificate Programs
- Associate's Degree Programs
Eligibility and Enrollment Information
If you DO NOT currently receive TANF or SNAP benefits, you can find out if you are eligible by submitting an application on the COMPASS Website. COMPASS is an online tool for Pennsylvanians to apply for many health and human service programs and manage benefit information.
If you DO receive TANF or SNAP and you are interested in being part of the KEYS Program and want to find out if you are eligible, please fill out the Reverse Referral Form and follow the directions for submission.
Contact KEYS Staff
Phone: 610-372-4721, ext. 5289
Berks Hall, Room 223