Funding roundup

College of DuPage will launch a new study abroad program with the help of a federal grant. (Photo: COD)

Five community colleges have been awarded IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students) grants by the U.S. Department of State’s Capacity Program for U.S. Study Abroad.

Community College of Baltimore County (Maryland), College of DuPage (Illinois), Massasoit Community College (Massachusetts), Oakland Community College (Michigan) and Sinclair Community College (Ohio) will receive the grants – along with 19 universities – to create, expand and diversify their study abroad programs.

College of DuPage (COD), for example, will use its $35,000 award to launch a new study-abroad pilot program in Brackenhurst, Kenya, next summer. In partnership with EDU Africa, COD faculty will lead three simultaneous student groups from nontraditional study-abroad disciplines, including nursing, biology and architecture.

The goal of the pilot is to create and test a model that can be replicated in other underrepresented study-abroad disciplines and destinations.


Wallace State Community College’s welding department can buy new equipment thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The grant will help purchase workforce training equipment for its new Technical Education Center for Welding and Entrepreneurship.  

The new training facility, anticipated to open in late 2021 or early 2022, will allow the welding program to provide an estimated 110 workers in the Southern Appalachian region each year with more opportunities for training in the high-skill, high-wage and high-demand welding trade. It also will help meet the employment needs of some 40 new and current manufacturing businesses in North Alabama.

Wallace State Community College’s welding department received a grant to purchase new equipment. (Photo: WSCC)


Front Range Range Community College (FRCC) and partner St. Vrain Valley Schools will receive a $494,175 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support the opening of a Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program in cybersecurity. The grant is part of NSF’s Advanced Technological Education program. 

The new cybersecurity P-TECH will allow students to earn an associate degree alongside their high school diploma at no cost to them. The program will be developed in close collaboration with industry partners, including Seagate, Cisco and Comcast. Students will receive significant work-based learning opportunities, including worksite visits, mentoring with industry employees and paid internships. 

“Cybersecurity is critical to almost every industry,” said FRCC President Andy Dorsey. “That’s why jobs in this arena are plentiful in Colorado — and they pay well. When our P-TECH students complete the FRCC cybersecurity program, they’ll be highly qualified to get good jobs right out of high school.”

This is the third P-TECH program in St. Vrain Valley Schools and the second developed in partnership with FRCC.


Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) will receive $250,000 from the city of Somerville’s Job Creation and Retention Trust Board. Along with partners East Somerville Main Streets, the Community Action Agency of Somerville and The Welcome Project, BHCC will use the funds to provide no-cost English as a Second Language classes and customer service training to low-income Somerville residents.

“Through this program, students will have the opportunity to learn customer service skills appropriate for emerging small businesses in Somerville while strengthening their English skills and knowledge of the American workplace,” said Kristen McKenna, BHCC dean of workforce and economic development.

North Shore Community College (NSCC) will enhance its community health workers (CHW) programs using a $956,188 Opioid-Impacted Family Support Program (OIFSP) grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.  

The college’s CHW credit and noncredit programs will expand to include training in specialized addiction support services to families impacted by addiction. Program participants will receive tuition and fee assistance that will cover most of the cost.

In addition, NSCC will partner with MassHire’s North Shore Workforce Board and North Shore Career Center to develop an apprenticeship training model providing on the job experience and technical training. 


St. Louis Community College (STLCC) will establish the Valerie Bell and Kelvin Westbrook Endowed Scholarship for Health Care Careers using funding received from BJC HealthCare. The gift was made to recognize Kelvin Westbrook’s longstanding board service to BJC HealthCare and to support the vision of Valerie Bell and Westbrook to improve opportunities for young people.

The scholarship is meant to encourage and inspire deserving students to earn a degree in a healthcare career path at STLCC. It covers tuition and books for a year and will follow the selected student to graduation.

“Increasing accessibility to scholarships increases opportunities for our students to enroll and persist in a health care career pathway, particularly during this pandemic,” said STLCC Chancellor Jeff Pittman.

New York

Rockland Community College (RCC) has received a five-year, $2.9 million U.S. Department of Education grant through the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions program. It’s the second time the college has received this grant.  

RCC will use initial funding to jumpstart Real World Ready! Strengthening Career Pathways to Empower Workforce Ready Students, a new initiative designed to close gaps in workforce development in Rockland County. Students from diverse backgrounds had direct input into project planning.

Workforce programs such as technology education, hospitality/culinary arts, health education (addictions management), graphic design and cybersecurity will include career pathways, intentional connections to workforce partners and high-impact practices demonstrated to improve student outcomes.


Northampton Community College (NCC) will use a $163,200 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to provide free Class A truck driving training to 40 current or former members of the U.S. armed forces, their spouses and adult children. The grant will allow NCC to recruit qualified students, provide them with safety-focused training, support them through program completion and provide placement services to assist them in becoming employed in the transportation industry.

NCC was one of 20 educational institutions to receive this Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training (CMVOST) grant. The funding will help NCC fill a regional shortage of skilled, licensed professional truck drivers and qualified programs that provide operator safety training to meet the region’s growing transportation industry’s employment needs.


Lamar Institute of Technology (LIT) received $61,000 for scholarship funding from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR). The scholarships will support nontraditional students in their pursuit of an associate degree or certificate in an approved technical field, including truck driving, industrial mechanics and HVAC.

Since 1995, LIT has received $270,500 from the HLSR Vocational Scholarship Program.


Lord Fairfax Community College’s (LFCC’s) newly constructed Jenkins Hall, Luray-Page County Center will include $368,521 worth of health science lab equipment paid for with a grant from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation (CMCF).

The center will open in January and house a general science lab as well as health science, trades and computer labs and three classrooms. The labs will enable LFCC to offer prerequisite courses for the college’s allied health programs.

The CMCF grant will cover several pieces of lab equipment, including an anatomage table used for virtual dissection, an autoclave to perform sterilization, various mannequins, four hospital beds, medical supplies and video conferencing equipment.

About the Author

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