Funding roundup

Current and former foster youth at colleges in the San Diego Community College District will benefit from a new grant to the district. (Photo: SDCCD)

San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) can better support foster youth attending San Diego City, Mesa and Miramar Colleges thanks to a $1.6 million grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.  The colleges will bolster staff and add support services through SDCCD’s Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support (CAFYES) program — also known as NextUp.

CAFYES/NextUp provides funding for counselors, tutors, career guidance, child care and grants to help students with non-tuition costs, such as books and housing, at 45 California community college campuses. The goal is to help current and former foster youth overcome challenges that can keep them from securing a certificate or degree.

Also in California, Sierra College can provide more Sierra Promise scholarships thanks to a $20,000 contribution from AT&T Aspire. Sierra Promise targets underserved high school students. Working in 27 local high schools, Sierra College staff provide outreach to students to improve college readiness, access and success. The funding will assist more than 75 students who came to the college through the Promise program.

Massachusetts

Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) President Luis Pedraja is seeing his vision for 100-percent student success get closer to reality, thanks to a five-year, $2.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The grant recognizes QCC’s work to increase student persistence and completion from the point of entry to graduation.

“Our mission as a higher education institution is to foster an environment that provides optimum learning experiences for all of our students. We have extensively improved our student experience support structure and become more embedded in the communities we serve. This funding will enable us to turbo-charge our initiatives to get to our ultimate goal,” Pedraja said in a press release.

QCC has developed several initiatives to help students. This fall, it rolled out a comprehensive orientation and first-year experience program. The college also streamlined its wrap-around support services into one central location — the Student Success Center — and implemented an advising and retention software program.

Michigan

Grand Rapids Community College, in partnership with four area school districts, received a $2.1 million grant project through ED’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or GEAR UP . The funding will benefit a cohort of seventh-graders, who will have access to a variety of resources as they transition from middle school to high school and college or career training.

Students in the program will receive tutoring and other academic support services. High school students will have access to career exploration software to help them discover their strengths and passions, discuss career aspirations and build awareness of the educational requirements for such jobs. Funding also allows for professional development for teachers and guidance counselors.

Mississippi

Itawamba Community College will implement a heavy equipment technology program with the help of a $774,000 grant from the Mississippi Community College Board. The college will add the program to its existing diesel equipment technology program. The grant will help purchase equipment and training aids.

Heavy equipment industries in Northeast Mississippi turned to ICC to help provide skilled workers and are collaborating with the college in the development of the new program.

North Carolina

Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) has received a $1.9 million grant from ED, the largest grant awarded in the college’s history. The grant will help CFCC focus on increasing academic coaching for students who are struggling with their studies, providing financial literacy programming, assisting with degree planning, improving student retention year-to-year and increasing the number of credentials awarded. CFCC will hire a grant director, academic advising staff and academic coaches, and plans to purchase software to help identify and track students who may need academic interventions.

Pennsylvania

The Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) and its partners in the Tristate Energy and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Consortium recently announced gifts totaling more than $1 million. Grants include $587,950 from the Appalachian Regional Commission, $250,000 from Chevron and $248,300 from Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. The partners also will benefit from in-kind matches from 10 educational partners totaling nearly $600,000 over three years.

The TEAM Consortium, a multi-state, multi-industry effort, aims to close the skills gap in energy and advanced manufacturing. The funding will allow for the alignment of relevant curricula to create seamless pathways to jobs. The consortium also plans to provide necessary online access to information and referrals to programs within energy and advanced manufacturing and to build on outreach and engagement practices that raise awareness of occupations in certain science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) sectors.

Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, received $13,459 from the Franklin H. and Ruth L. Wells Foundation in support of the Harrisburg Promise.

The Harrisburg Promise — a collaboration of HACC, the city of Harrisburg and the Harrisburg Housing Authority — creates a pathway to postsecondary education for low-income youth in the Harrisburg and Steelton-Highspire school districts.

In addition, HACC’s Educating the Next Generation through the Arts (EdGe) program got a boost with a $2,000 grant from the Dorothy B. and S. Lawrence Koplovitz Foundation. The funding will allow two artists to perform as part of the Live at Rose Lehrman Performing Artist Series. They also will provide workshops to students and adults at community locations.

Virginia

Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) has received a $1.9 million Strengthening Institutions Grant from ED. The college plans to increase tutoring, enrollment help and interventions for at-risk students. This includes hiring new staff, such as a Title III grant director, enrollment support specialists, technical staff and more tutors.

“This grant award certainly means a lot to CVCC as an institution of higher-education, but it also means a great deal to our students and staff. This money will enable us to make improvements to existing areas and also help fund some new initiatives that will benefit the onboarding and retention of students who need our help the most,” said CVCC President John Capps.

Washington

Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) will use a $58,675 Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program grant to help subsidize on-campus child care costs for up to 40 families per year. The funding, which comes from ED, also will help provide supplies for a new school-age summer care program.

“We have a large number of student parents who want to pursue an education, but they do not qualify for state assistance child care,” CPTC Director of Child Development Services Angela Johnson said. “The CCAMPIS grant will allow those students to change their future pathway at CPTC, while their children learn school-readiness skills at a quality center.”

About the Author

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