Funding roundup

Volunteer State Community College students in the respiratory care program train on the new MetaNeb system. (Photo: Vol State)

In Tennessee, Volunteer State Community College’s respiratory care program is getting a MetaNeb system, thanks to a $10,000 grant from device manufacturer Hill-Rom. MetaNeb delivers medication while also helping to loosen up secretions in patients’ lungs.

“This is what the hospitals are using now,” student Eric Gilly said in a release. “Getting to work with it here in the classroom will definitely help me in the hospital setting. This puts students ahead of the curve.”

Also in Tennessee, three community colleges were awarded grants of about $200,000: Columbia State Community College (CSCC), Jackson State Community College (JSCC), and Walters State Community College (WSCC). The grant funding, from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, will allow institutions to focus on student outcomes in areas such as credit-hour progression and degree completion.

CSCC plans to contract with the Educational Advisory Board to implement the Navigate platform for a focus on student onboarding through advisement activities, guided onboarding, academic planning and a revamped advisor dashboard. The college also will create a “Charger Center” to deliver academic coaching, career counseling and intrusive retention interventions.

At JSCC, completion coaches will help connect students to academic support and student support resources on and off campus, and can track and guide students along the pathway to progression metrics and ultimately degree attainment. The college will also launch an initiative to encourage students to apply for summer Pell grants so they can complete their degree sooner.

WSCC’s Systematic Involvement in Retaining and Improving Undergraduate Students (SIRIUS) project will allow students working with completion coaches to explore careers and develop a direct GPS (Guided Pathway to Success).


A total of $6 million was awarded to 24 community colleges to implement the CCC Maker Initiative. The colleges will create or strengthen inclusive makerspaces that will foster innovation and entrepreneurial skills among students. The funding comes from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

The colleges will establish makerspace communities, place students in internships, develop curriculum that prepares students with 21st-century skills, and participate in the CCC Maker statewide network of college makerspaces.

City College of San Francisco (CCSF) received $350,000 that it will use to launch a maker certificate in fall 2018. The college will open three makerspace locations, each offering a variety tools and skills. The interdisciplinary spaces will be knitted together with technology provided by CCSF’s industry partner, Cisco Systems.

Allan Hancock College will use its $350,000 grant to build an inclusive makerspace community in collaboration with the Santa Maria Public Library and the Santa Maria Discovery Museum. The college’s makerspace will open the computer-aided design lab, machine and welding labs to students, faculty and the entire community to provide a safe platform for tinkering with projects. Student interns will monitor the labs and use a cargo trailer to set up makerspaces in local K-12 schools.

“The makerspaces will enhance the student experience and will be central to developing connections with industry partners, securing real world work experiences, developing hands-on skills and supplementing curriculum,” Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin Walthers said in a release.

Also in California, Orange Coast College’s (OCC) new planetarium will get a Foucault Pendulum, thanks to a $1-million gift from retired Spanish professor Mary McChesney. The planetarium is expected to be completed in fall 2018. McChesney is making the donation in honor of her late partner, Adelyn Bonin, who passed away in January. Bonin — also a professor who taught German — retired from OCC in 1983 after 24 years of teaching.


Normandale Community College’s vacuum and thin film technology program has received more than $1.3 million in funding from two different sources. A three-year, $870,720 grant for from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will help the college to finalize the awarding of credentials through a distance program of study in vacuum and thin film technology.

The college also received a donation of nearly $500,000 from the estate of Philip and Doris Danielson, who both passed away in 2015. Philip was an engineer, entrepreneur and inventor who spent his entire professional career advancing the technology and mentoring others in this unique technical specialty. His interest in furthering education in vacuum technology led him and his wife, Doris, to include Normandale’s unique vacuum and thin film technology program in their wills.

The donation will potentially fund up to 100 scholarships annually for students in the program. Normandale offers the only associate of applied science program in vacuum and thin film technology in the nation.


Spokane Community College students in the new one-year welding and fabrication certificate program will benefit from a $49,152 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant. The grant will help students with costs for childcare, gas, program tools and safety equipment and other needs outside of tuition. It will also pay for a special assistant who will help students complete the program and find work. The program, which begins in January, will feature all evening classes to make them accessible to people who work or have family obligations during the day.

About the Author

Tabitha Whissemore
is a contributor to Community College Daily and managing editor of AACC's Community College Journal.