Funding roundup

Early childhood education student Alicia Stenersen works with a child at the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education located at Mount Wachusett Community College’s Gardner campus. (Photo: MWCC)

In Massachusetts, Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) and Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) have each received state grants of $296,904 to provide free classes for early childhood education professionals and training to help local childcare facilities.

“A lot of licensed early education providers are seeking to move up, and this offers them an opportunity to do so,” said QCC’s Director of Early Childhood Career Pathway Kyla McSweeney.

The grants from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care will help launch the childhood development associate and childhood development associate plus programs. The 10-credit programs will provide free classes to those currently working in the childcare field or recent high school graduates who commit to getting a job in the field within three months of completing the program. Upon completing these programs, which are scheduled outside of working hours, students will be lead-teacher certified and have credits that will transfer to an early childhood education associate degree.

The expected completion time for both programs is 10 to 12 months. In addition to the free courses, students may also qualify for a stipend to help offset transportation and childcare costs.

Also in Massachusetts, MassBay Community College’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Mentor Program received a $43,000 contribution from Sanofi Genzyme and a $3,000 community grant from MathWorks. This is the fifth consecutive year Sanofi Genzyme has funded the program.

Since it started in 2014, the STEM Mentor Program has worked closely with Sanofi Genzyme employees to offer students one-on-one mentoring with industry professionals. Program participants also benefit from career-focused events and opportunities. More than 30 percent of participants are low-income, people of color, first in their family to attend college and/or women.

California

The Riverside Community College District Foundation has received a $25,000 grant from Bank of America to address economic mobility for individuals and families and put them on a path toward financial stability.

The grant will fund resources for workforce development and education pathways that will assist students to chart a path to better economic futures, as well as basic needs that are fundamental to building lifelong stability. The foundation will use the grant to support an initiative to increase the number of historically underrepresented populations — women, veterans, foster youth and individuals with disabilities — who are interested in pursuing a career in a STEM field.

Banks of America representatives present a check to Riverside Community College District Foundation officials. (Photo: RCCD)

Iowa

Muscatine Community College (MCC), one of the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, received a $7,500 Art Project Grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The college will use the money to create a sculpture to highlight its agriculture program’s 50-plus years. A professional artist will work with college students in both the agriculture and welding programs to design and create the sculpture, which will be displayed on MCC’s campus.

Minnesota

Central Lakes College (CLC) was awarded a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand student success efforts. The funded project focuses on using data to identify at-risk students and provide support.

Spread over five years, the grant funds will enable CLC to hire four coaches to provide school-performance monitoring, mentoring and other supports to advocate for students. The college also will hire an instructional designer, institutional researcher and project director. CLC is partnering with the University of Minnesota to complete the research aspect of the grant.

“This level of intensive advising requires more capacity than the typical college is capable of on its own with constantly tightening budgets,” Paul Preimesberger, CLC’s dean of enrollment management and student success, said in a release.

Ohio

Ohio’s community colleges can better support foster youth pursuing a higher education thanks to the state’s Short-Term Certificate Foster Youth Grant. A total of $385,000 was divided among 16 community colleges and three universities. The goal is to help foster-care students earn credentials and certificates that will help them achieve their academic and career goals.

“My vision for all young Ohioans is the same I have for my own children and grandchildren – that they have the opportunity to live up to their potential and achieve their dreams,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a release. “This grant will help foster youth have the opportunity to earn the certificates and credentials required by many in-demand jobs.”

Sinclair College will use its $15,000 in funding to support 15 former foster youth who are interested in pursuing a short-term certificate in nurse aid training. The program is designed to take less than one year and will provide students the opportunities and skills needed for a successful career pathway.

At Marion Technical College, local students will be able to take courses in information technology and real estate sales.

A full list of grantees is available here.

Tennessee

A local family is donating farmland to the Volunteer State Community College Foundation for a new college campus.

The McFarland family is providing 2.5 acres of land and the college is purchasing an additional 7.5 acres for the campus. Sandra McFarland read in a newspaper article that Vol State was looking for land in Wilson County for a new campus. She called the college with an idea.

“I said ‘I want Vol State for my town, because I want to give back something of what people in the town have given me,’” McFarland recalled.

That call quickly led to conversations with the administration. McFarland said that her family has a long history with education, and the chance to provide increased higher education opportunities in Mt. Juliet and Wilson County would be a wonderful legacy.

The college is raising funds for the development and design of the building and working through a state process for the new campus. The finished facility will have multiple classrooms and other educational facilities that will allow Vol State to offer a variety of classes.

(Seated) Sandra McFarland and Volunteer State Community College President Jerry Faulkner with (standing) McFarland’s daughter Susan Redmond-Vaught and Vol State Foundation Executive Director Karen Mitchell. (Photo: Vol State)

About the Author

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