Funding roundup

Evergreen Valley College (EVC) will use a $400,000 grant from the California State Chancellor’s Community College Mental Health Services Program to address the mental health needs of students.

The California legislature approved $10 million of one-time funding in the 2018-19 state budget for California Community Colleges to support mental health services and training.

“This grant could not have come at a better time,” EVC Acting President Denise F. Noldon said in a release. “With both anxiety and depression rates likely to soar as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, having these additional resources are going to be critical to allow us to support the holistic needs of our student population.”

The grant will allow EVC to develop and expand existing programs and resources, provide pertinent education and training to faculty, staff and students, and establish partnerships with community and county agencies. EVC also will address campus safety and focus on early intervention, prevention and support for the campus community while reducing the stigma attached to mental health. 

Elsewhere in the state, students at the nine Los Angeles Community Colleges District (LACCD) colleges will benefit from a $150,000 donation from the Kroger Company. The LACCD Foundation plans to mail $50 grocery cards to students for use at Food4Less and Ralphs, grocery stores which are part of the Kroger Company.

Students can apply for the grocery cards through an online student portal.

“The coronavirus outbreak has upended food security in our vulnerable communities,” said Bryan Kaltenbach, president at Kroger’s Food 4 Less Division. “Through all of this, we have been uplifted to see local communities working together to support one another like family. LACCD is family and we want to continue doing our part to afford them groceries during this time of need.”

Massachusetts

Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) received a $298,108 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for a new robotics technician certificate program. The program will offer a curriculum that supports technical communication, teaches problem-solving skills and offers a strong integration of industry-recognized certifications.

This summer, QCC will establish a local business and industry leadership team for robotics to identify the skills local employers need in employees. The goal is to have the pilot program tested and in place within three years. One key component of the program is finding ways to engage and inspire students in the world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), particularly those students in middle and high school.

“The awarding of this NSF grant enables us to develop new career pathways for students,” said QCC President Luis Pedraja. “We must teach not only for today’s industry needs, but also teach to the needs of the future. I believe this program will be a gateway to self-sufficiency for many students.”

North Carolina

Several North Carolina community colleges were awarded grants by the Golden LEAF Foundation to support long-term economic advancement.

Sampson Community College will use its $1 million grant to renovate an existing building to house a trade center. The college plans to expand vocational training opportunities in electrical, HVAC and masonry trades. Similarly, Sandhills Community College will use a $680,000 grant to construct and equip a training center for new programs in construction, construction management, HVAC and plumbing trades. And Robeson Community College will expand its HVAC/refrigeration program using a $201,496 grant.

Bladen Community College received $200,000 to support the education and training of nursing students. The goal is to increase retention, completion and NCLEX pass rates by providing dedicated and expanded access to technology for remediation in health sciences and preparation for changes in nursing licensure testing.

A $500,000 grant to Southeastern Community College’s nursing and health technologies program will provide equipment and supplies to create a simulated hospital environment for nursing and health sciences students. Fayetteville Technical Community College also will use its grant ($961,200) to support its healthcare workforce training program. The college will renovate and equip a dedicated simulation suite to increase enrollment in its nursing program and improve nursing student retention.

Learn more about the grants here.

Blue Ridge Community College will use a $589,464 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant to upgrade its transportation training programs. In collaboration with area employers and high schools, dual enrollment and work-based learning opportunities will expand to address the lack of skilled transportation workers.

“This grant will be vitally important in training a workforce who has been sidelined for months due to a global pandemic. It will allow us to be ready to jump into action when restrictions on business and movement are lifted, giving our local workforce leverage in what promises to be a tough economic recovery ahead,” said BRCC President Laura Leatherwood.

Virginia

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) received a $1 million gift from Debra Coffman Howe. The donation adds to Howe’s existing endowed scholarship fund, which supports NOVA nursing students. Howe has also donated to the NOVA COVID-19 Emergency Student Aid Fund.

As a nursing student at NOVA, Howe reached a point where financially she could not afford to finish her associate degree. She went to a NOVA nursing instructor to postpone her studies. Within days, she was notified that her current year tuition and books had been paid for by an anonymous donor. Howe was put in contact with NOVA’s financial aid office and foundation and with their help, received grants, scholarships, loans and even a part-time job. She was able to complete her studies and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree.   

Howe is now managing partner and president of Airamid Health Services, as well as Kaine Financial Services and resides in Palm Beach, Florida.

“I was able to fulfill my dreams thanks to the dedicated faculty, staff and donors at NOVA. I will never forget the relief and gratitude for those who allowed me to focus on moving forward,” Howe said. “NOVA was truly my launching pad to very successful career in healthcare and I am happy that I am now in a position to ‘give back’ to other hard-working and focused NOVA students.”

About the Author

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