Funding roundup

Annette Bening receives from SDCCD Chancellor Constance Carroll (left of Bening) a plaque recognizing the establishment of the Annette Bening Promise Scholarship. They are joined by San Diego Mesa College President Pamela Luster and Mesa students. (Photo: SDCCD)

In California, actress and San Diego Mesa College alumna Annette Bening provided star power and helped raise more than $200,000 at the San Diego Community College District’s (SDCCD) first fundraising gala. The sold-out event benefited the district’s College Promise program.

A San Diego native, Bening has stayed connected with Mesa College over the years and served as the commencement speaker in 2002. She is currently honorary co-chair of the San Diego Promise fundraising campaign along with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

SDCCD Chancellor Constance Carroll announced that the district will establish a Promise scholarship in Bening’s honor that will go to a district student who demonstrates academic excellence and a commitment to service.

Norco College received $6 million in state funding to help build a childcare center for veterans and their families. The center will complement the future veterans resource center due to open in fall 2022.

“Many veterans come to campus with families and need dependable, high quality childcare,” President Bryan Reece said. “Our childcare facility will give veterans peace of mind knowing their children are in good hands.”

A portion of the funding also will help to kickstart a new workforce development center, which will train students for jobs and provide people in the workplace with opportunities to improve their skills.


Metropolitan Community College received a $72,000 gift from the Johnny Baxter Carriage House Foundation to support the college’s automotive and diesel programs. The gift will provide Career Academy scholarships, industry-grade tool kits for hands-on student experience and part-time tutors to help students build work-relevant literacy in reading, writing and math.

North Carolina

Durham Technical Community College will use a $10,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to provide work-based learning scholarships to students in the career and technical education (CTE) program.

More than half of the 20 programs in the CTE program require students to participate in work-based learning opportunities while other programs list work-based learning as an elective or as part of the program’s capstone requirements.

“Work-based learning provides practical work experience and network connections for students,” said Melissa Chappell, executive director of the Durham Tech Foundation. But students often find it difficult to complete work-based learning hours due to other obligations such as their own jobs, family and course load, she said.

The Wells Fargo grant will provide 20 student scholarships for the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters.


Oklahoma City Community College’s (OCCC) anesthesia technology program got a boost with a $40,000 grant from the Presbyterian Health Foundation (PHF). The funding is designated for student scholarships and faculty professional development.

“With one of the first programs leading to national certification in anesthesia technology, OCCC is leading the way in a rapidly growing allied healthcare profession,” said Nancy Sweet-Fitzgibbon, director of the anesthesia technology program, said. “Our partnership with Presbyterian Health Foundation provides critical opportunities for students and faculty. We are excited to welcome our first cohort of students to campus.”

The college also received a $5,000 donation from Firestone Complete Auto Care to support the automotive technology internship program, which prepares students to work in the automotive industry with all makes and models. In addition to the donation, Firestone sends its employees to OCCC for professional development opportunities and hires OCCC students who are working their way through the automotive degree program.

About the Author

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