Funding roundup

St. Louis Community College students work with an instructor in the college's patient care technician program. (Photo: STLCC)

In Missouri, St. Louis Community College’s (STLCC) patient care technician (PCT) program got some much-needed support with a $100,000 grant from Bank of America. The grant will cover tuition costs, books, supplies and other costs for students to complete the program.

STLCC is recruiting displaced hospitality workers for the program. Courses currently are set to begin after shelter-in-place orders and hospital entry restrictions are lifted. However, STLCC is in the process of creating online-course capabilities for the PCT program. PCT students will learn day-to-day patient care skills used in local hospitals.

The college is partnering with SSM Health, headquartered in St. Louis. SSM Health will hire students for the high-demand healthcare field and offer advancement opportunities. The accelerated program will combine classroom and lab instruction with hands-on clinical experience.

Illinois

The College of Lake County’s Small Business Development and International Trade Center has received a $166,171 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Activity. The funds will allow the center to operate for the rest of 2020 as efforts continue to find a source of long-term funding, said Mitch Bienvenue, the center’s manager.

The center serves an average of 320 clients per year. It assists existing businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in areas such as developing a business plan, securing bank loans, overcoming common business startup problems and providing referrals to other service agencies.

The grant includes the functions of an international trade center, assisting businesses in Lake County, including those new to export and new to market, to grow their international market scope, Bienvenue said.

Massachusetts

Holyoke Community College has received a $450,000 state grant to extend for three years its free college preparation program, Transition to College and Careers. The grant from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education allocates $150,000 a year for the next three fiscal years, with the college providing an additional 30 percent match.

Students in Holyoke Community College’s Transition to College and Careers program celebrate their graduation. (Photo: HCC)

Transition to College and Careers (TCC), which serves 60 to 75 students a year, is a free adult education program that helps students 18 or older prepare for college and identify a career path. Coursework includes intensive academic preparation in reading and writing, math, study strategies and computers. The program is designed for all adults, including students with high school equivalency certificates, those who have completed English as a Second or Other Language or other adult literacy programs, and those who have been out of school for a long time and want to return.

“TCC is really a bridge for them so they feel like they understand what college is about and gain confidence in their abilities to manage the academic workload,” said TCC director Marie Troppe.

The grant also pays for 12 college credits for students who go on to enroll at HCC or another college.

Mississippi

The Mississippi Community College Foundation has received a $310,000 grant from the Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF) to help qualifying community college students affected by COVID-19 stay on track towards graduation.

“We know that many of Mississippi’s community college students are already vulnerable to unexpected financial hurdles,” said Jim McHale, WHEF president and CEO. “We viewed this as an emergent opportunity to provide immediate financial support to Mississippi’s two-year college students impacted by COVID-19, so they would not be forced to put their education on hold for financial reasons.”

The grant will establish student relief funds at all 15 Mississippi community colleges, which can use the money to help students with the costs associated with in-home internet access, fuel cards, credential fee stipends, to establish campus tablet or computer loan programs, or other costs that may be a barrier to college completion.

This is not the first time WHEF has provided financial support to Mississippi’s community colleges. It has awarded $490,000 to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society to provide membership scholarships to high-achieving but underserved community college students. WHEF has also provided support to Coahoma Community College and Mississippi Gulf Coast
Community College
through a $900,000 grant to Achieving the Dream to support the development of a peer-learning community and build leadership and data capacity at each institution.

Oregon

Clackamas Community College (CCC) will use a $285,489 National Science Foundation grant to develop online courses for its water and environmental technology (WET) program. These courses will help meet the growing demand for rural water technicians.

“Today, the rural experienced water industry workforce is facing rising retirement, a need for continual upgrading of knowledge and skills as new technologies are introduced, and the chronic issues related to access to education and training for rural residents,” said CCC WET instructor James Nurmi. “This project will address these gaps by providing online education that can reach rural technicians.”

Washington

The Community Colleges of Spokane can expand support to students thanks to a $35,000 gift from an anonymous donor. The funding will provide emergency assistance to students who have lost jobs or their economic stability due to COVID-19.

About the Author

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