Funding roundup

A new grant at El Paso Community College will give more students hands-on research opportunities and a clearer path to a bachelor of science degree in biomedical sciences. (Photo: EPCC)

In Texas, El Paso Community College (EPCC) will use a $327,501 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to increase transfer and retention rates and research opportunities for students. The Rise to the Challenge Bridge project is a collaborative effort between EPCC, the University of Texas at El Paso and New Mexico State University. The goal is for students to graduate with a bachelor of science degree in biomedical sciences.

Core elements of the program include student research internships and course-based undergraduate research experiences. EPCC has long been dedicated to providing student research training opportunities and supplemental instruction in biology, chemistry and math courses.

“EPCC students at the freshman and sophomore level have been able to participate in scientific activities that most students don’t get to do until they are seniors or in graduate school, including participation in research projects, presentations at national conferences bringing at least one award per year, and being co-authors in professional journal articles,” said Maria Alvarez, program director for Rise to the Challenge Bridge.

Florida

Miami Dade College’s (MDC) new Career Connect initiative is supported by JPMorgan Chase with a two-year, $700,000 grant. The initiative will fast-track training for Miami-Dade County students ages 16 to 24, allowing them to earn a workforce credential quickly. Career Connect will focus on providing training for careers in information technology, trade and logistics.

Tallahassee Community College announced that another local business has committed to supporting a classroom. First Florida Credit Union donated $25,000 to TCC in support of technology and infrastructure updates for a classroom in the Science and Mathematics Building. The TCC Foundation has been working with groups and individuals in the community to support classroom renovations. Already, donors have been identified for 34 of the 50 classrooms targeted for renovations.

The Tallahassee Police Department and Leon County Sheriff’s Office present checks to Tallahassee Community College. (Photo: TCC)

The college also is celebrating investments from the Tallahassee Police Department and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Each will donate $10,000 to support the New Start Scholarship Fund, which will help youth who have been involved with the juvenile justice system to turn their lives around.

During a meeting with TCC’s board of trustees, Chief Michael DeLeo, representing the police department, referred to the “poetic justice” of using funds from law enforcement seizures of assets related to criminal activities to help young people build a future that takes them away from any criminal enterprise.

“These are not tax dollars. These are monies taken from drug dealers and criminals,” DeLeo said. “We’re using the proceeds of criminals’ profits to really invest in our community’s future.”

Massachusetts

The Holyoke Community College MGM Culinary Arts Institute got a big boost from Gov. Charlie Baker’s office with a $229,500 grant. The institute will use the funding to purchase computer and kitchen equipment for its new downtown training facility, which is expected to open next month.

HCC is one of 32 community colleges, high schools and educational institutions in the state to receive a Workforce Skills Capital Grant. A total of $9.5 million was awarded. The grants are meant to enhance and expand career training programs.

“These Skills Capital Grants will help boost our economy and equip students with new skills, knowledge and experience with state-of-the-art equipment across the Commonwealth,” Baker said in a release.

Bunker Hill Community College received a $247,566 grant to enhance its general sonography and cardiac sonography associate degree programs. BHCC will purchase two ultrasound machines, which will give students hands-on experience and up-to-date training with industry standard equipment.

Mount Wachusett Community College will use its $50,600 grant to support its new paramedic program. And Quinsigamond Community College, which received $431,900, will partner with Worcester Technical High School to serve as a site to expand its HVAC certificate program.

A full list of grant recipients is available online.

North Carolina

Five Cape Fear Community College manufacturing students got some good news recently: they received scholarships, thanks to a $6,500 donation from Wilmington Grill. The scholarship presentation was a part of Wilmington Grill’s Manufacturing Day Open House.

Tennessee

Pellissippi State Community College will help veterans to better translate their military experience into college credit thanks to a $70,190 Veteran Reconnect grant. The funding boosts the college’s Prior Learning Assessment program, allowing Pellissippi State to create new evaluation processes and better align academic credit with military training, and ensure this information is available to veterans before they enroll.

“There are about 83,000 veterans in Tennessee with some college credit but no degree,” Eric Bollmann, director of veterans services at Pellissippi State, said in a release. “For these veterans attempting to transition from military service into higher education, the ability to obtain credit for military experience is crucial.”

Washington

Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC) can help more students stay on-track to earn a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs thanks to a $125,000 grant. SFCC was one of six Washington community colleges chosen this year to join the Washington MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) program, which helps underrepresented community college students stay on track to earning STEM bachelor’s degrees.

SFCC plans to add more supports for students, including an orientation course that introduces students to STEM careers, learning strategies and other tools for success, a dedicated study center, and academic advising tailored for university transfer in STEM degrees.

West Virginia

Pierpont Community & Technical College was awarded a $151,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation in support of the Pierpont Early College Academy. The academy enables eligible high school career and technical education students to enroll in community college courses during their senior year. It’s designed to be an innovative model for increasing the college-going rate of West Virginians while also decreasing their student debt.

About the Author

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