Funding roundup

Northwest Florida State College will use new grant funding partly to stand up a new commercial drivers license program and establish an official CDL testing site. (Photo: NWFSC)

Ten community colleges, as well as the South Carolina Technical College System, received grants from the Truth Initiative as part of the Tobacco/Vape-Free College Program to stop tobacco use and vaping among college-age adults.

Jefferson Community College (JCC) in New York was one of the grantees, which received more than $17,000 to expand leadership opportunities for its students, including two paid student positions called Truth College Leaders.

South Seattle College received nearly $17,000 and is already advertising the Truth College Leaders position. The leaders will help the college and community over the next 18 months to become smoke- and tobacco-free. 

Arkansas

Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH) has a new, endowed book author lecture series thanks to a $10,000 donation from local resident Terre Green Ware. The gift will allow an author to visit ASUMH and present a lecture to the community beginning in fall 2021. 

Ware said her donation to ASUMH grew out of her own love for reading.

“Understanding the power of reading for knowledge, pleasure, and joy has always been a large part of my life. This gift has been on my heart for years,” Ware said. “The few times we have had authors speak to us at ASUMH, it has been extremely well received. My feeling was that we need more of that, therefore it was my desire and dream to make this happen for our college, as well as our community.”

(From left) ASUMH Development Officer Mollie Morgan, donor Terre Green Ware and ASUMH Chancellor Robin Myers. (Photo: ASUMH)

California

Bakersfield College (BC) will use a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide 80 Job Corps-eligible students with career technical training and career guidance. This will help fill a shortage of college-educated workers needed to meet employer demand in the region.

“As we look towards working our way out of the pandemic, education with a focus on employment is going to pave the way for so many families. No matter where our students are on their educational journey, BC is always looking for ways to guide and support Renegades towards brighter and secure futures,” said Anthony Cordova, the college’s dean of instruction.

Florida

Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) will receive a $413,836 grant from the governor’s office (with funding coming through the federal CARES Act) to expand rapid credentialing efforts, which aim to increase the number of students in short-term, in-demand, high-wage occupation, workforce programs.

The college will use the grant and other funding to start new commercial vehicle driving (CDL) and engineer technology programs, and to buy accompanying equipment, such as trucks, trailers, hydraulics and mechanical drive learning systems. NWFSC also will establish an official CDL testing site.

Indiana

Ivy Tech Community College will use a $5 million grant from Lilly Endowment to support its Ivy Achieves program, a student-centered effort to improve the retention and degree completion of Black, Latino, Native American and first-generation college students.

Ivy Achieves comprises five main components: app development; deliberate academic and career advising; student engagement; incentives for participation, including a free course retake; and evaluation and expansions. It will also have external and student advisory committees. Each campus will have a staff and faculty champion to lead the work and activity will be tracked using Ivy Tech’s mobile app, IvyMobile.

“We, and many other colleges, see lower course success, retention and completion rates for our non-white students. Often this relates to these students being first in their household to pursue college, along with additional barriers to non-white students. Ivy Achieves will focus on supporting these students,” Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann said in a release.

Maryland

Hagerstown Community College’s (HCC’s) Alumni Association has made a $30,000 donation to the college’s foundation. In turn, the association received naming rights for two business offices in HCC’s Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Studies, which is under construction. The rooms will be named in honor of late alumnus and local businessman Donald L. Spickler, class of 1958, and are a gift from the association in his memory.

Massachusetts

Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) will use a $32,400 Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Partnership (CDEP) grant to expand opportunities for high school students to take college-level courses for free or at a discounted price at QCC. The grant will target underserved students.

QCC already has an Early College Program that serves as a pathway to higher education for those historically underserved.

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito praised QCC’s program in a letter to President Luis Pedraja: “We want to thank you for your commitment to increasing college participation through dual enrollment activities, particularly for low-income, underrepresented, and first-generation college students. Through this funding and your continued support, we hope to expand access to great educational opportunities for every student in the Commonwealth.”

Texas

College of the Mainland (COM) process technology (PTEC) students will benefit from a $10,000 donation from Air Products, an industrial gas and chemical company. The donation will fund four scholarships of $2,500 each for students in the college’s PTEC program.

The scholarship solidifies the growing partnership between Air Products and COM as the company expands its presence into Texas City through its Gulf Coast Ammonia project.

 “Education is one of the core focused areas that Air Products regularly supports. As a company, we believe it is our responsibility to be a good corporate citizen in the communities where we have operations,” said Andrew Connolly, executive director for the Gulf Coast Ammonia Project.

Also in Texas, Lone Star College (LSC) recently received grants totaling $244,696 from the Tomball Regional Health Foundation (TRHF). The grants support LSC-Tomball lifePATH and nursing programs.

 TRHF awarded $122,856 toward the LSC-Tomball lifePATH  program, which  is a four-year, comprehensive program of postsecondary educational opportunities for students who have disabilities that affect executive functioning. The grant will fund a wraparound support coach and academic strategist.

“Because of COVID-19 and the imposed quarantines, healthcare workers have been impacted by the restricted availability of clinical training sites to get hands-on experience with the latest technology,” said Lynn LeBouef, Tomball Hospital Authority CEO and THRF board treasurer

A second grant of $101,839 will go toward critical healthcare training equipment, including four adult simulators, infusion pumps and surgical technology supplies.

The Tomball Regional Health Foundation awarded Lone Star College grants totaling $244,696 to support LSC-Tomball lifePATH and nursing programs. (Photo: LSC)

Wisconsin

Milwaukee Area Technical College’s flagship MATC Promise programs got a big boost with two recent donations: $500,000 from philanthropist Chris Abele and $125,000 from an anonymous alumnus through the JPG Fund at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

The MATC Promise is a public-private partnership with donors filling the gap between what financial aid covers and the cost of tuition. Abele has been a major supporter of the MATC Promise since its inception, first donating $250,000 to help establish the MATC Promise for High School Graduates. In 2017, he donated $500,000 to support the development of the MATC Promise for Adults.

“We have seen the lack of equity in society play out with tragic consequences this year,” Abele said. “The MATC Promise is a transformational program to help overcome some of that disparity because it serves a very diverse pool of students.”

About the Author

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