NorthWest Arkansas Community College’s new bicycle technician program, which begins this fall, is already off to a good start. The college received a three-year grant of more than $1 million for the program from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.
“This program has the potential to become a training hub for cycling and technician workforce development not just regionally but nationally in a growing industry,” said Steuart Walton, chair of the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. “As more people turn to cycling as a sport, for recreation or exercise, the development of this curriculum is timely and important to the economic advancement of our region.”
The grant will cover salaries for three years for the three new positions: a program director, project coordinator and outreach coordinator. It also will help the college purchase equipment and renovate a portion of the building that will house the program.
Students in the new program will be able to earn a Bicycle Industry Employers Association accredited certification in bicycle assembly and repair and gain skills in bicycle mechanics, wheel repair and assembly, braking, bearing and suspension systems, service department operations, electric bikes and more.
Wallace State’s project will include a partnership with the National Institute of Women in Trades, Technology and Sciences to increase the diversity of students entering the diesel technology program, ultimately providing more opportunities and jobs for women and other adult learner populations under-represented in the diesel technology field.
The concept for this grant project began in early 2020. Last March, when the pandemic interrupted in-person instruction, the urgency to provide new and flexible learning options for students became a priority.
“During the pandemic the transportation industry was crucial in the supply chain, creating even more of an urgency to supply a talent pipeline to support the industry,” said Vice President for Advancement Suzanne Harbin. “Wallace State took this opportunity to innovate and create a program that benefits the employer through establishing a talent pipeline and the student through an earn and learn opportunity.”
Students, staff and faculty at Hawaiʻi Community College will soon benefit from a new scholarship and professional development opportunities thanks to a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor.
Most of the donation – $920,000 – will fund the A Hua Maila Endowed Scholarship, supporting full-time and part-time students pursuing a degree in any area of study. The phrase, A Hua Maila (And/Until it is realized), carries with it the intent to not only revisit and reinforce one’s hua (purpose, impetus), but also holds a commitment and intent to produce something, playing off another meaning of hua (fruit, product, end result).
“With 97% of our students coming from Hawaiʻi, and 89% of them from Hawaiʻi Island, this gift is directly supporting our community’s future teachers, farmers, nurses, chefs, social workers, auto mechanics and so many other sectors so vital to our quality of life,” said Hawaiʻi CC Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas.
The remaining funds will support the Huakaʻi (the journey) Professional Development Endowment. This fund provides money for professional development opportunities for staff, faculty and student leaders that help to reinforce the hua of individuals or departments/divisions, and also lead to new growth and accomplishments.
Students enrolled in Terra State Community College’s healthcare programs will benefit from a $562,500 state Choose Ohio First grant awarded to the college. The college will use the funds for scholarships.
“We are excited to offer another opportunity to serve our students. This scholarship opportunity directly aligns with our strategic plan by strengthening our academic programs and prioritizing student progress, as well as creating successful professionals that meet talent and workforce needs,” said Terra State President Ron Schumacher.
The Choose Ohio First Scholarship is designed to strengthen Ohio’s competitiveness within science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) disciplines and STEMM education.
El Paso Community College has received a $34,669 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It will use the grant to begin work on linking humanities and STEM fields through a summer bridge program, experiential learning and courses in English, biology and mathematics.