Funding roundup

Several Washington community colleges are recipients of community grants from College Spark. A total of $1.5 million was awarded to K-12 and postsecondary institutions. The grant funds new and promising practices that can lead to increased student success, particularly for low-income students. The grantees will work on projects ranging from professional development for middle school math teachers to implementing co-requisite models.

  • Peninsula College will use its grant to redesign aspects of college-level math and English courses.
  • Community Colleges of Spokane will work on new placement instruments so recent high school graduates can be placed using high school performance rather than by a placement test.
  • Tacoma Community College aims to improve the transition to college for graduates of Tacoma Public Schools with College Bound Scholarships and to decrease the rate of students required to take developmental education.
  • Pierce College also is looking at improving developmental math courses. The college will create a co-requisite math class with a supplemental instruction model for each of its existing introductory college-level math courses.
  • Renton Technical College (RTC) is planning two new math courses that align learning outcomes in transitional studies courses and better serve as a bridge to college-level courses.

“This College Spark funding will provide critical resources to streamline the math sequence and increase the percentage of students who earn their first college-level credits in English or math,” RTC President Kevin McCarthy said in a release. “This aligns closely with our guided pathways work and our strategic plan.”

A full list of grantees is available online.


Tunxis Community College is part of a group of higher education partners awarded $237,069 from CTNext to provide college students with hands-on research opportunities in bioscience and health-related fields. Tunxis is the only community college in the consortium of seven Connecticut higher education partners for the three-year Partnership in Innovation and Education (PIE) grant program. The University of Connecticut leads the consortium.

Selected students will be matched with host research laboratories for summer- or semester-long mentored research, where they will work with mentor faculty. They will also attend weekly seminars on bioinnovation and a research symposium at the end of their research.

“By immersing students in hands-on laboratory research, they will further develop their skills in inquiry, problem-solving, critical thinking and analysis,” said Leigh Knopf, Tunxis director of institutional advancement.


Ivy Tech Community College’s “The Time is Now” capital campaign kicked off with a $25,000 donation from Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). The college hopes to raise $3 million through community support to upgrade the Kokomo Campus. The funds will be added to $40 million in state funding approved by the Indiana General Assembly.

North Carolina

Durham Technical Community College received $16,000 from the General Consulate of Mexico in Raleigh for scholarships for Mexican students and students of Mexican descent. The grant also will be matched dollar-for-dollar by institutional scholarship funds.

The General Consulate of Mexico in Raleigh has partnered with Durham Tech since 2015 to help support students. The scholarships funded through the grant help top-performing, low-income students attend college.


Madison Area Technical College (MATC) has received two grants from the Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of Madison news outlet The Capital Times. The college is getting $100,000 toward its fund drive for the new South Campus. The groundbreaking is set to take place in June. MATC also was awarded $50,000 to provide scholarships to students.

About the Author

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