Funding roundup

Huskins Library at Mitchell Community College will get a new makerspace lab thanks to funding from the State Library of North Carolina. (Photo: MCC)

Mitchell Community College’s Huskins Library has received a $50,000 Library and Services Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the State Library of North Carolina. The grant will help to establish a flexible and multi-functional makerspace lab to support students, faculty and staff.

The aim of the makerspace lab within the library is to foster interdisciplinary partnership, cooperation and innovation. The space will include a variety of tools and materials to encourage discovery and exploration within a safe environment, and help people develop transferable skills, from lab to workplace.

California

West Hills Community College District can help students with their technology needs during COVID-19 thanks to a $75,000 donation from Chevron. The money will help fund computers and internet hot spots for students.

“We have some students in the district who do not have computers at home or access to the internet,” said Alex Perez, executive director of the college’s foundation. “West Hills has tried to provide laptops and hotspots to as many students as we can, but we need the help of donors like Chevron to meet the need in our district. Their gift will help students attend classes online and finish their degrees.”

Florida

Eastern Florida State College can purchase new dental equipment thanks to a $5,000 grant through the Community Foundation for Brevard. The new equipment will go toward student education and patient treatment for the college’s dental assisting and dental hygiene programs.

Kentucky

Owensboro Community and Technical College is partnering with Big Rivers and Kenergy on an initiative to provide solar charging stations on the main OCTC campus. Big Rivers and Kenergy each donated $10,000 toward the project.

Minnesota

South Central College (SCC) will use a nearly $500,000 federal grant to implement a new advanced agriculture technology (AAT) certificate program. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Students can begin enrolling in AAT courses for the fall. The college plans to have the full AAT certificate program available for the 2021 spring semester starting in January.

The new certificate program will be built based on SCC’s successful iMEC model for offering hands-on mechatronics instruction in remote locations, which began in 2009 with funding from the National Science Foundation. The program will combine agriculture and mechatronics curriculum in order to establish an industry-ready, advanced agricultural workforce and expand career pathways for graduates.

Oregon

Portland Community College’s (PCC’s) High School Equivalency Program (HEP) received a $2.4 million U.S. Education Department grant to ensure that migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the region attain their GED and transition to higher education.

HEP is focused on improving the educational attainment and employment opportunities of eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their family members. The program requires participants to commit to attaining their GED, as well as continue on to earn a college degree or training certificate, work toward an employment upgrade or enter military service.

Through this new grant, HEP will serve 58 students annually and provide an array of services and activities, including academic and career advising, free high school equivalency instruction and tutoring, free GED exams, cafeteria meals, transportation stipends and childcare subsidies. Participants also will receive a week-long computer literacy course, weekly class access to computer labs, career and academic workshops, follow-up services and an $800 college tuition waiver for GED attainers.

Vermont

Community College of Vermont (CCV) may welcome more recent high school graduates thanks to a gift from the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation. Every graduating senior in the state will be eligible for a free course of their choosing at CCV this fall, paid for by the foundation.

The gift will cover tuition and fees associated with any course students choose to take, including courses that are part of shorter-term certificate programs that prepare students for skilled jobs. A typical CCV course costs $1,000. With about 5,000 students graduating from high school in Vermont this spring, the McClure Foundation could contribute up to $5 million.

“The uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has undoubtedly made this pivotal time in their lives more challenging to navigate. But having an opportunity to take at least one course for free at the Community College of Vermont – and access CCV’s college and career resources – can help this class who has endured a lot in their senior year,” said Gov. Phil Scott.

About the Author

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