Funding roundup

Leech Lake Technical College Interim President Patricia Broker, science instructor Melinda Neville and Dean of Academics Vikki Howard celebrate the college's $100,000 grant from the American Indian College Fund. (Photo: LLTC)

Minnesota’s Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) will use a $100,000 grant to prepare students for environmental careers and to promote community engagement with environmental issues. The grant comes from the American Indian College Fund (AICF) Scholarly Emergence for Environmental Design and Stewardship program.

LLTC will integrate traditional ecological knowledge in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) curricula. The grant also will assist faculty earning their advanced degrees and fund LLTC’s summer internship program, supporting students and faculty engaged in place-based environmental research.

“With this support from AICF, we can strengthen and refocus our efforts at building environmental awareness about climate change and other challenges in our communities,” Vikki Howard, dean of academics, said in a release.


Altec representatives Kelly Westin and Chris Harned present a donation to Wallace State Future Foundation’s Suzanne Harbin and Welding Program Director Jim Thompson. (Photo: WSCC)

Wallace State Community College will use a $5,000 donation from Altec to help female welding students complete their education. The funds will help cover tuition, fees, books and supplies.

The donation benefits both students and Altec, which employs a number of graduates from the Wallace State welding program.

“Because we are currently seeing a shortage of skilled trade workers in the labor force, we are working heavily with local community colleges like Wallace State. Our primary focus has been on supporting welding programs as it’s a big part of what we do at Altec,” said Chris Harned, general manager of Altec’s Birmingham facility.


Mid Michigan Community College’s sustainability efforts were rewarded recently with a $5,000 grant from Isabella Wind, a renewable energy project of Apex Clean Energy. The grant will help improve environmental and clean energy initiatives on campus. Plans include the additional sorting-style lids for recycling bins, and expanded recycling opportunities for staff.


Seminole State College (SSC) received a real-estate donation valued at more than $1 million – one of the largest gifts in the college’s history. The donation comes from the family of Roger and Pam Parks of Parks Manufacturing, founders of Blue Wave Boats. The real estate is located in Checotah, Oklahoma, and was the original manufacturing facility of Blue Wave Boats. The area features roughly 20 acres of land, including a large office building and roughly 60,000 square feet of factory buildings.

The Parks family donation will go into a special fund to be named the Parks Family Community Fund. Upon the sale of the real estate, the college will use the funds for the construction or enhancement of the new Brian Crawford Memorial Baseball and Sports Complex for SSC; the construction or enhancement of a new community swimming pool complex; and possible funding for certain aspects of the new Seminole High School and educational equipment or facility rental assistance for the new Charter School.


Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) will use a $1 million National Science Foundation grant to help students interested in careers in STEM fields. The Start SMART project, which stands for Self-Motivated, Academic, Reflective and Talented, will provide scholarships for up to 100 academically talented, low-income students to increase their retention, degree completion and transfers to four-year programs.

Students will participate as a cohort in activities such as mentoring with STEM faculty, monthly meetings featuring integrated learning labs, student-facilitated study groups, presentations by professionals, workshops and field trips. A component of the project is a research study to determine whether the project’s evidence-based strategies will lead to academic success for community college students in STEM programs.

South Carolina

Greenville Technical College (GTC) will celebrate Financial Literacy Week in March using a $12,500 gift from TD Charitable Foundation. GTC’s Financial Education Center will have a week of activities and events aimed at improving students’ financial knowledge and health. Experts from TD Bank will join the college in this endeavor. The focus will include budgeting, spending, credit scores, debt management and online security.

About the Author

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