Funding roundup

Representatives from Forsyth Technical Community College and Ferguson Plumbing highlight Ferguson's donation to the college's trades courses. (Photo: Forsyth Tech)

In North Carolina, Forsyth Technical Community College students in trades courses will benefit from a donation of more than $2,500 in equipment from plumbing supplier Ferguson. The donation provides essential tools to benefit students learning construction and carpentry.

“The veteran plumbers are slowly fading, and we need the younger generation to step up and fill these shoes. With technology changing, it is imperative that we teach upcoming plumbers the new and improved ways of the plumbing trade,” said Matt Everhart, branch manager at Ferguson Winston-Salem.

Forsyth Tech, along with the Universidad Nacional de Villa Maria (UNVM) in Argentina, Davidson County Community College and Guilford Technical Community College, also received $25,000 to facilitate cultural immersion that will encourage students and faculty from the different institutions to interact and exchange ideas with each another. The grant comes from the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund.

Arkansas

The University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College was awarded a $1 million grant from the Windgate Foundation to establish a general scholarship endowment. It’s the largest endowed scholarship fund in the college’s history.

Georgia

Gwinnett Technical College will use a $70,000 grant from the Atlanta Women’s Foundation to support a scholarship fund for college women with children to help them with costs associated with transportation to and from class, childcare, tuition assistance and program supplies.

Kansas

Pratt Community College’s capital campaign is on track thanks to a $250,000 gift from the Sunderland Foundation. The campaign is to raise money for a new track and field complex for the Pratt community. The gift, according to College Foundation Executive Director Barry Fisher, helps to secure an anonymous $1 million challenge grant received by the foundation in April.

Minnesota

A number of two-year colleges in Minnesota have received funding for innovations to improve teaching, learning and access for students. Minnesota State Educational Innovations funded 23 projects at colleges and universities in the state, awarding a total of $314,659.

Among the colleges receiving funding are Central Lakes College, Mesabi Range College, Northland Community and Technical College and Saint Paul College, which have projects to help faculty explore and implement open educational resources. Lake Superior College received funding for two projects: one is an online system to help students learn professional skills in their academic programs, and the other, Burn Box 2.0, involves repurposing shipping containers for fire training to give students skills in high-risk situations.

Find out what other colleges were awarded funding here.

New York

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) mathematics professor Claire Wladis will use a $1.5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant — the largest ever received by a BMCC faculty researcher — to develop a test that measures how well college students understand fundamental algebra concepts.

At BMCC, almost 80 percent of first-time freshmen require developmental math, according to the college. The current City University of New York (CUNY) algebra entrance and exit exams test how well students can perform certain algebraic calculations, but the tests do not tell educators why students get certain problems wrong.

Wladis and her team will create and validate a pool of roughly 200 items that test conceptual understanding in algebra.

“The test that we are developing should provide us with insight into what students are thinking — helping us to pinpoint specific misconceptions, or to identify specific ways of thinking that students are employing when approaching algebra problems,” Wladis said

 Ohio

Terra State Community College received a Rural Business Development Grant for nearly $288,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It will use the funds to renovate the first floor of its general technologies building and will focus on providing leadership training for employees at area businesses.

About the Author

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