Funding roundup

Passaic County Community College President Steven Rose (left) accepts a $7,500 donation presented by Ed Kurbansade of Spencer Savings Bank. (Photo: PCCC)

Passaic County Community College (PCCC) will use a $7,500 grant from Spencer Savings Bank to support low-income, students of color seeking higher education.

The grant will specifically help students in the New Jersey college’s Student Support Services (SSS) and PCCC SUCCESS programs. Each year, 420 low-income, first-generation college students participate in the SSS programs and benefit from academic support, success coaching, financial literacy and cultural activities. The PCCC SUCCESS program helps students complete college-level math and English requirements in their first year of study and accelerate their time to program completion. More than 300 low-income, minority students benefit from these services.

“Student finances remain the biggest obstacle to college completion,” said PCCC President Steven Rose. “This generous donation from Spencer Savings Bank will provide the most vulnerable students with financial emergency assistance awards that can be used to help pay for emergency costs.”

California

College of the Desert has received a U.S. Education Department grant of nearly $1.39 million to help more low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities succeed in and graduate from college. This is the second time the college has been awarded a Talent Search Grant, which has served more than 2,400 students, to date.

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Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) will receive a $4.7 million grant to support more Latinx students in STEM and allied health pathways. The Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM and Articulation Program grant comes from the U.S. Education Department.

SRJC’s initiative, which will be entirely funded by the grant, was created to address the challenges Latinx, low-income and first-generation students face while strengthening the infrastructure of the college to serve future generations of students. The college will use the funds to: develop a STEM/Health Learning Student Success College Orientation program; create articulation and transfer pathways for new STEM degrees; and generate undergraduate research opportunities.

“At a time when the United States, California and the North Bay are experiencing historic labor shortages in STEM fields, this grant will provide our underserved students a pathway to well-paying careers in health sciences, research and engineering,” said SRJC President Frank Chong.   

Connecticut

Asnuntuck Community College’s food pantry has received an $8,614 donation from American Eagle Financial Credit Union’s Cash Back to the Community program.

“Food insecurity has been a struggle for many of our students, and it was exacerbated by the pandemic.  This donation will make an immense difference in a significant number of our students’ lives — and they are our community,” said Asnuntuck CEO Michelle Coach.

Kentucky

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKYCTC) was awarded a five-year, $1.2 million U.S. Education Department grant for the Educational Opportunity Centers Program. SKYCTC will use the funding to provide 850 adult learners in its 10-county service area with college admissions, financial aid and financial literacy services.

Massachusetts

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) is expanding its Career Pathways Impact Project (CPIP) with the help of a $250,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase. The company provided a 2020 grant of the same amount to pilot the initiative.

CPIP addresses the career counseling needs of community college students. The project’s overarching goal is to prepare students for equitable workforce entry and success by making career planning an integral part of the student experience.

CPIP 2.0 will build a new structure of career support at BHCC that incorporates a holistic review of advising, career preparation and job placement support. In addition, the project focuses on employer input and integration with current college systems to better enhance the student and employer experience.

“In our first two years of the project, we have more than tripled our original goal of working with 200 students,” said Kristen McKenna, BHCC dean of workforce and economic development. “In the second round of funding, we will increase our capacity to career counsel students and expand programming that helps prepare students for the world of work.”

North Carolina

A $326,300 grant to the Forsyth Technical Community College Davis iTEC Cybersecurity Center will enable middle and high school teachers to increase their cybersecurity skills, abilities and knowledge. The funding comes from the National Science Foundation. 

Area teachers can enroll in Forsyth Tech’s 16-hour cybersecurity certificate program. Throughout the classes, cybersecurity instructors and professionals will mentor the teachers, providing assistance with lesson plans to incorporate into their classrooms. Teachers completing the classes can take the CompTIA Security+ Exam, an industry standard in cybersecurity. They also can earn a $500 stipend upon completion of the exam.  

“With billions being spent each year on cybersecurity and growing concerns over the sophisticated tactics used by cyber terrorists to disrupt organizations, we are proud that Forsyth Tech is working to increase the number of cybersecurity professionals in our community,” said Thomas Brown, department chair of the Davis iTec Cyber Security Center at Forsyth Tech. 

Ohio

Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) has received $750,000 from PNC Bank and the PNC Foundation to help fund comprehensive educational and job-preparedness programs. The goal of the programs is to help low- to moderate-income students achieve better results in the classroom and the workplace.

The funding will help Tri-C establish critical wraparound services for students, specifically Black students. It also will enable the High-Tech Academy (HTA) – a dual-enrollment program – to: increase recruitment and retention outreach; provide scholars with programming designed to help them stay enrolled in school; and offer additional wraparound support to students’ families. HTA was established in 2000 by PNC, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Tri-C.

The college also will use the funding to provide scholarships.

Virginia

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) will launch a new program to serve Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (AANAPI) students. Funded by a five-year, $1.3 million U.S. Education Department grant, NOVA’s new Asian Pacific Pedagogy for Equity, Achievement and Learning (APPEAL) program will provide AANAPI students with services to promote success in foundational math and English courses, overall college retention and degree completion.

“Excellence in instruction and equity in opportunity are core tenets of our work at NOVA, and we are proud to announce a new way to support our AANAPI students,” said NOVA President Anne M. Kress.

Through the APPEAL program, NOVA will provide low-income AANAPI students with learning experiences that use high-impact practices and culturally responsive pedagogy to improve student success. The program also will establish an AANAPI Intercultural Learning Center for tutoring, mentorship, community building and other student support services.

About the Author

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