Funding roundup

Mount Wachusett Community College will use a federal grant to create healthcare education and career pathways. (Photo: MWCC)

In Massachusetts, Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) received a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create healthcare education and career pathways for 85 local students each year for the next five years.

“This grant benefits not only for the students who will be given additional opportunities, but for our communities that need additional healthcare workers,” MWCC President James Vander Hooven said in a release.

MWCC also will participate in a $250,000 grant project focused on prisoner education. The college is one of four anchor institutions for a new education consortium that seeks to provide and expand postsecondary educational opportunities in prison and post-release. The consortium is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Project funding comes from the Vera Institute of Justice and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The consortium will work on programming that features a strong foundation in the humanities as well as career and technical training that begins during incarceration and continues into the community. It also will create academic and career advising specific to the needs of justice-involved students.

MWCC participates in the federal Second Chance Pell pilot program, designed to provide education as a means of reducing recidivism and easing the transition out of prison. The college in June graduated its first class while working with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. A group of 22 inmates of MCI-Shirley received their small business management certificate.

Florida

Hillsborough Community College’s (HCC) 50th anniversary fundraising campaign got off to a good start with a $1 million donation from Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel. It’s the largest cash gift from an individual in the college’s history. The funding will go toward HCC’s allied health building, which will be bear the Patels names. The facility is scheduled to open in fall 2019 and will include a simulated hospital. Part of the Patel’s gift will provide scholarships for students enrolled in health science programs.

HCC also received a $1.7 million grant from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County for the Quality Early Education System (QEES), a model that links together teacher, family and child learning. The funding supports HCC’s partnership with Hillsborough County Child Care Licensing to continue offering services to early childhood educators, students and families.

Also in Florida, Tallahassee Community College (TCC) has received three gifts, including a $390,000 endowed fund from former Wakulla County kindergarten teacher Kay Floyd, who passed away this spring. Her gift will cover tuition for three to four students every year. Floyd had already established a separate athletic scholarship fund at TCC in the 1990s.

In addition, Steelcase and Perdue Office Interiors have donated $25,000 in furniture. Steelcase’s $25,000 furniture donation will be matched, which will fund an entire classroom on campus. And Siemens has donated $40,000 to develop curriculum and equip a learning lab on TCC’s main campus.

Illinois

Highland Community College’s agriculture department received an $18,000 gift from the Ogle County Farm Bureau. The college will use the funds to remodel a building with a science lab and research greenhouse.

New York

Thirteen City University of New York (CUNY) institutions will make use of a five-year, $3.97 million National Science Foundation grant to increase the number of underrepresented minority students graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

The funding will support the efforts of the New York City Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation to provide training and academic support to STEM majors and prepare students for graduate school and STEM careers. The CUNY institutions also will broaden minority student recruitment into STEM fields and encourage faculty collaboration across the colleges participating in the initiative, which include Bronx, Guttman and Hostos Community Colleges.

The three colleges also will participate in CUNY’s $1.4 million grant project to study the “leaky pipeline” between community college and bachelor’s degrees. The grant comes from the federal Institute of Education Sciences.

The four-year study will focus on how the college transfer process might hinder community college students’ momentum toward earning bachelor’s degrees.

“CUNY is at the forefront of a national effort to improve associate degree completion for community college students,” Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz said in a release. “This research addresses the next critical step for the success of many of these students: transferring and completing a bachelor’s degree.”

Researchers will work to identify the specific stages in the transfer pipeline at which many students stall, and look at what supports might help keep them on track to transition to higher academic levels.

Texas

Cedar Valley College, using a $1.28 million grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), will provide custom training for 859 new or current workers. Instruction will focus on transportation, warehousing and manufacturing. Trainees will include corporate safety engineers, drivers and help desk technicians. When they complete their training, participants will receive an average hourly wage of $21.62, according to TWC.

About the Author

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