Funding roundup

Maureen Wilkens donated $5 million to Cape Cod Community College for its new science and engineering building. (Photo: CCCC)

In Massachusetts, Cape Cod Community College’s (CCCC) new science and engineering building is closer to becoming a reality after a $5 million contribution from Maureen Wilkens. This is the largest single donation by an individual in the college’s history.

“The college is so important to our community. It provides outstanding higher education opportunities for our neighbors on the Cape and islands and beyond,” Wilkens said.

Wilkens has been a long-time benefactor of the college. In the past, she and her husband established an endowed scholarship to help single parents attending CCCC. More recently, she supported the renovation of the college’s nursing lab.

The new science and engineering building is expected to be done by 2022 and will create new, modern learning spaces that will allow faculty to better teach subjects related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which has a growing labor market in the area.


Palm Beach State College is launching a new Center for Excellence in Engineering Technology with a $2 million award from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. Slated to open in August, the center will allow the college to expand its engineering program offerings. It also will provide a more collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to boost the number of trained middle-skill workers needed in the aviation/aerospace, manufacturing, clean tech and homeland security/defense industries.

In addition, the college will offer a new fourth concentration in advanced manufacturing for the engineering technology associate in science degree and launch three additional certificates in industrial technician, automation and lean manufacturing. PBSC plans to strengthen its partnerships with Florida Atlantic University and 15 local companies to ensure students are prepared for the workforce and to transition into bachelor’s programs.


College of Southern Maryland (CSM) received $2,000 for student scholarships from the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce.

“The role CSM plays in preparing our future leaders for successful careers in business is so very important,” said Chamber President Bob Carpenter. “We are glad we can play a role in that preparation, and look forward to employing in our companies the men and women that benefit from this scholarship. Better yet, we look forward to working for them as they launch their businesses.”

The Calvert County Chamber of Commerce presented College of Southern Maryland with $2,000 for student scholarships. (Photo: CSM)

New York

City University of New York (CUNY) researchers will use a $550,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to examine what promotes or hinders transfer from community college to a four-year college or university, particularly on students with interests in the humanities. The award marks the next step in CUNY’s ongoing push to diagnose and repair leaks in the pipeline between community college and bachelor’s degrees.

Researchers will focus on students at Guttman Community College during the first year of the three-year grant period; they will widen their lens in the second and third years to examine all seven CUNY community colleges.

“It is imperative that we better understand the factors that impede the progress of associate degree students as they work on the road to earning a bachelor’s degree in order to help them meet their educational and career goals,” Interim Chancellor Vita Rabinowitz said in a release.

The Mellon Foundation award will complement a four-year, $1.4 million grant for transfer research from the U.S. Department of Education.

North Carolina

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has the largest fire and rescue training program in North Carolina. Thanks to a donation of a fire truck from the Salisbury Fire Department, the training program just got better. The donated engine was a surplus truck that the city had replaced last year. Instead of selling it, Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell offered it to the college for training.

“One of the college’s biggest challenges is keeping our programs equipped with industry-recognized, state-of-the-art equipment that is used in the workplace. This donation will help us in achieving that goal,” said Rowan-Cabarrus President Carol Scalding.

About the Author

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