Funding roundup

Ozarks Technical Community College is one of eight colleges selected to receive a $50,000 Siemens-Aspen Community College STEM Award. OTC will bolster its dental hygiene program with the funds. (Photo: OTC)

Eight community colleges will receive grants as part of the first Siemens-Aspen Community College STEM Award. Each colleges will receive $50,000 to bolster their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, attract new talent and provide student scholarships.

The winning STEM programs range from nursing to telecommunications technology, and are hosted at the following community colleges: Broward College (Florida), Central New Mexico Community College, Hillsborough Community College (Florida), Miami Dade College (Florida), Ozarks Technical Community College (Missouri), Mitchell Technical Institute (South Dakota), South Central College (Minnesota) and Valencia College (Florida).

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the Siemens Foundation partnered to create the award in order to “elevate excellent middle-skill STEM programs at community colleges, the jobs these programs lead to, and the value they confer on students, their families and their communities,” according to a press release.


Central Arizona College’s welding program is getting new equipment from Cyberweld. More than $62,000 of equipment and machinery were donated to provide hands-on training opportunities for students.


Housatonic Community College (HCC) received a two-year $500,000 grant from the Allison Foundation. The grant will fund college scholarships and a community partnership to enhance economic security for area families. It also will fund a part-time coordinator position at the HCC Men’s Center, which supports underrepresented males on campus.

This is not the Allison Foundation’s first grant to HCC. An initial gift of $400,000 to fund general scholarships during the 2012-13 academic year established the Allison Foundation Scholarship Fund. During the 2016-17 fiscal year, the program awarded $264,990 in scholarships to HCC students.


Palm Beach State College’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) initiative got a boost with a $100,000 donation from the Meyer and Bernice Kesner Foundation. The donation will fund scholarships for students pursuing STEM careers. It was given in honor of the Kesners,

Meyer Kesner, who died in 2007, taught continuing education classes in beginning-level management at the college in 1980. Bernice Kesner was involved with several charities and served on many local election boards. She died in 2015.

“My aunt and uncle would be so excited about these scholarships,” said Hal Grossman, the Kesner’s nephew.  “Meyer always loved the college and spoke very highly of his students. Both he and Bernice had a desire to give back to the community, and my sister and brother and I are happy to help fulfill their desires.”


All 22 schools in the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) will receive $22,985 via the Gretchen K. Corbin Last Mile Fund. The fund was established to provide TCSG students with “the last mile” of gap funding for tuition, fees and books, which helps increase retention and graduation rates.

“Our students are our number one priority, which means we do everything we can to help ensure they can graduate ready to join Georgia’s workforce,” TCSG Commissioner Matt Arthur said in a release. “This fund is an important piece to helping more students get across the finish line, and I commend the TCSG Foundation for their generosity to our colleges.”

Several Georgia-based companies, including Georgia Power and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, have donated to fund since its launch.


Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) can purchase new equipment for its nursing program thanks to a $109,833 grant from the Maryland Clinical Simulation Resource Consortium. BCCC will update its simulation labs with new technology.


Grand Rapids Community College’s (GRCC) new Foundations to the Future project will benefit from a $1 million W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant. The project will connect vulnerable populations with careers in public works and health care.

GRCC will work with the city of Grand Rapids and Kent County on a Public Works Academy, which will give residents in-demand skills for emerging municipal projects. The academy will target careers in planning, parks and recreation, wastewater treatment, green infrastructure, traffic control, heavy equipment, road work and automotive repair, and will include apprenticeships and skilled-trades training.

GRCC also will use the grant funding to expand efforts to connect residents with entry-level jobs in health care, and to strengthen a program that combines workforce training with language skills to help those for whom English is not a native language.

About the Author

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