Funding roundup

East Central College nursing student James Johnson is one of many at the college who has benefited from a nursing scholarship. (Photo: ECC)

With a $5 million donation to Missouri’s East Central College (ECC), “lives will be changed and lives will be saved,” said President Jon Bauer.

The historic gift comes from an anonymous couple who were already funding a memorial scholarship for nursing students since 2018. Previously, they established a charitable remainder trust (CRT) with the East Central College Foundation, which pays a specific percentage annually for the rest of their lives. That trust today is valued at $1.5 million.

The latest gift will fund nursing scholarships and the campus food pantry.

James Johnson is a nursing student who has returned to school after working as a chef and graphic designer. He received a scholarship from the donor last year and this year.

“It has helped me greatly. I had planned to pay for school with the help of my wife but Covid impacted us financially,” he said. “Because of the scholarship, I was able to focus all of my attention on school, and I worked minimal hours as a lab assistant in the science department.”

Johnson intends to work in St. Louis at an emergency department after graduating from ECC and then continue his education.

Alabama

Northwest-Shoals Community College (NW-SCC) will receive three U.S. Department of Education grants totaling more than $1.1 million. These Talent Search grants will help more low-income, middle and high school students prepare for college.

“The Talent Search Projects, along with the other TRIO programs at Northwest-Shoals, are an integral part of our mission,” said NW-SCC Interim President Chris Cox. “The services they offer are designed to build a culture with their participants that leads toward a postsecondary education. Without them, many students across our area would not be able to fulfill their dream of a college degree.”

Arizona

Cochise College will expand its Integrated Education and Training (IET) program using a $90,596 grant from the Arizona Department of Education.

In the IET program, students enroll in adult education and career technical education classes simultaneously. This allows students to earn a GED certificate with an in-demand industry certificate. With the grant funding, GED students get a jump start in allied health, HVAC and light-duty diesel mechanic careers.

“The funds will be used to add instructors, enhance curriculum and provide resources,” said Program Director Brad Dale. “We are also working with AZ@WORK and local businesses to provide job shadowing and on-the-job training. This is going to be a game-changer as the program accelerates students into a career that will provide them a bright future.”

California

A $500,000 grant from PG&E Settlement Funds will fund a new wildfire resiliency workforce training program at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC). The grant was presented by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

“SRJC is honored to partner with the county of Sonoma to train a local workforce to mitigate the risk of future catastrophic wildfires and ensure that the generational investment in wildfire resiliency creates and sustains family-supporting jobs in our community,” said SRJC Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources Benjamin Goldstein.

The new program will combine college coursework with hands-on training in a variety of wildfire resilience practices including prescribed grazing, forest fuel reduction, fire-resilient landscaping, defensible space and post-fire mitigation and restoration. Students will hone their skills in work-based learning arrangements, which include paid internships at SRJC’s Shone Farm, and through community partners conducting wildfire resilience work in high-need areas of the county.

Florida

A $480,000 donation to Pasco-Hernando State College will help light up the night. The donation from Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc. (WREC) will pay for baseball field lighting at the college’s West Campus.

“I have been at Pasco-Hernando State College for 31 years and the most exciting day in that time was the day Joe and David informed us that WREC was going to make a substantial contribution toward the field lighting,” said Bob Bade, senior vice president and chief student affairs and enrollment management officer. “For so many years we worked hard to put lights on the field. It seemed like it would never happen. WREC made a dream come true.”

Massachusetts

Holyoke Community College, Northern Essex Community College, Springfield Technical Community College and three state universities are working together to increase the use of open educational resources (OER). That work will be a little easier thanks to new grant funding. The partners will share in a $441,367 U.S. Education Department grant for the OER project.

The project will test the hypothesis that underrepresented students will achieve higher academic outcomes if colleges use free, culturally relevant course materials that reflect their experiences.

The grant will help faculty at the six participating colleges create 36 new OER textbooks and 36 adaptions of existing textbooks using a diversity, equity and inclusion lens. According to the grant administrators, student savings on textbooks during the three-year grant period could amount to more than $1.6 million per year.

A consortium of six Massachusetts colleges is working to increase the use of open educational resources with the help of a new grant. (Photo: HCC)

Bristol Community College’sHolocaust and Genocide Center received a $3,000 grant from Bristol County Savings Charitable Foundation (BCSCF). The grant is intended for innovative programming and professional development in the area of Holocaust and genocide education for students and educators.

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MassBay Community College has received two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants totaling more than $1.2 million. The grants will help to promote diversity in cybersecurity programs and to train faculty in best practices that encourage and support underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and math programs.

“This region has been driven by a STEM economy for decades, and we have long recognized that good, sustainable careers can be had in STEM fields,” said MassBay President David Podell. “Directing resources that lead to the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students in STEM is a commonsense step that will help to ensure underrepresented students also thrive along with this growing sector of our economy.”

New Mexico

San Juan College’s (SJC’s) School of Energy now has $60,000 in scholarships available for Native American students thanks to a donation from ConocoPhillips. SJC will award scholarships to Native American students residing in New Mexico. Those students can study in any of the School of Energy’s programs.

Over the course of the past 25 years, ConocoPhillips has contributed nearly $850,000 in support of SJC and its students.

Texas

The Temple College Biological Research Institute has received a $48,151 research grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The grant will fund a new zebra mussel research project at Lake Belton and Stillhouse Hollow Lake.

Biology professor Jason Locklin wants to study the impact of elevated temperatures on mussel shell growth rates and body condition. Knowing if and when mussel populations are likely to decline could provide valuable information to agencies responsible for managing the state’s lakes and waterways.

The grant money will help to purchase equipment for sampling stations on each lake. Mussel samples will be collected monthly for 10 months beginning in September and will be taken back to laboratories at Temple College for analysis.

Three students will work on the new project. Locklin and his students have been studying zebra mussels since 2015. To date, 13 students have worked on the research in some capacity. Their research has led to eight presentations at scientific conferences. In 2020, they published their 2015-2016 study from Lake Belton in the international journal, Aquatic Invasions, and are currently preparing a second publication from a 2019-2020 study from both Central Texas lakes.

Wisconsin

Waukesha County Technical College was awarded a $540,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation to support and enhance manufacturing training at the college.

Of the donation, $500,000 will be used to create a training space – the Gene Haas CNC Training Center – including updating labs and classrooms to educate students in a modern, world-class facility. The remaining $40,000 will go toward scholarships to benefit prospective and current manufacturing students.

WCTC will use funds from the Gene Haas Foundation to open a new training space. (Photo: WCTC)

About the Author

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