Funding roundup

Mountwest Maritime Academy at Mountwest Community and Technical College received a $40,000 contribution from Marathon Petroleum Foundation. (Photo: MCTC)

West Virginia’s Mountwest Community and Technical College will use a $40,000 contribution from the Marathon Petroleum Foundation to upgrade the Mountwest Maritime Academy’s computer systems and simulator. 

The Academy provides U.S. Coast Guard-approved maritime training for various levels of the river industry, from entry-level deckhands to seasoned mariners wanting to expand their qualifications. The simulators educate students in practical situations and are then evaluated and compared to industry standards and regulations.

The academy is one of two in-land waterway training programs in the U.S. 


Fourteen California community colleges have received grants from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to help homeless and housing insecure students find reliable shelter. The College Homeless and Housing Insecure Pilot Program is funded through a $9 million allocation included in the 2019-20 state budget to support rapid rehousing services to California community college students.

“Students attend California’s community colleges because they are seen as an effective way of moving up on the socioeconomic ladder, and many of those students are living in poverty,” Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said in a press release. “We are committed to helping our students succeed, and that means working with community-based organizations to build upon existing resources in implementing sustainable programs to support homeless and housing-insecure students.”

Nineteen percent of respondents who participated in a 2019 California community college survey conducted by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University said they were homeless at some time during the previous year. Sixty percent said they had experienced housing insecurity. Nearly 40,000 students from 57 California community colleges participated in the survey.

Also in California, Cerritos College received a $20,000 donation from the Gene Haas Foundation to support students enrolled in its machine tool technology program. With the funding, the college can provide scholarships.

The Gene Haas Foundation is a strong supporter of the program, donating $20,000 in 2018 and $25,000 in 2016 to help students in machine tool technology.


Montgomery College (MC) will use a $10,000 donation from the Seldin/Haring-Smith Foundation to provide food assistance to students. The gift “will help fill the gaps that so many MC programs were actively playing before COVID-19 imposed restrictions on face-to-face interactions,” President DeRionne Pollard said in a memo to the college community.  

Abigail Seldin, CEO of the Seldin/Haring-Smith Foundation, joined the MC foundation’s board of directors in November and was interested in finding ways to address student hunger, said Joyce Matthews, executive director of the foundation. The current pandemic prompted her to make the donation to help students facing uncertain times, she said.


Northeast Community College’s Nexus campaign got a boost with a $100,000 investment from the Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation. The campaign seeks to raise funds to build new agriculture facilities at the college.

 “Helping students learn the latest and most effective agriculture, veterinary tech and ranching practices serves an important purpose to better our state, our country and our world. We want to play our part, ” said Dorothy Pflug, the foundation’s president.

The $23 million Agriculture & Water Center for Excellence project will include new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms, a new farm site with a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, a farm office and storage. In addition to the college’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction.  

Last summer, the Acklie Charitable Foundation announced a $5 million lead gift to the Nexus project.


Community College of Allegheny County can enhance and expand its registered apprenticeship system thanks to a $210,000 state grant.

The funding came through a registered apprenticeships grant program that is part of Pennsylvania’s PAsmart initiative, which helps students and workers prepare for the workforce.

South Carolina

Greenville Technical College’s Simulation Technologies and Training (STAT) Center will get an upgrade with the help of a $100,000 pledge from Barbara Lassiter, a former vice president for development at the college and former healthcare worker. The contribution will pay for new equipment and tools and create the Dr. Barbara P. Lassiter STAT Center Lab.

“This is an opportunity for students to practice, learn in a safe environment and practice again until they get it right,” Lassiter said. “In healthcare, you need the mind and the touch. This center ensures that the touch is practiced on simulators that mimic real-life situations so that graduates can confidently deal with critical patients and uncommon symptoms when they encounter these situations in real life.”

About the Author

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