Funding roundup

Wallace State Community College's Talent Search program serves students from 15 high schools, helping them transition to and succeed in college. (Photo: Wallace State)

Alabama’s Wallace State Community College can keep its Talent Search program going thanks to five additional years of funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The award is expected to total $2.4 million.

The program serves students from 15 high schools in the college’s service area, providing them with an opportunity to prosper in higher education. The program prioritizes first-generation, low-income students.

“We work to help them achieve their goals and dreams and try to give them a pathway to a better future through career planning,” said Talent Search Director Todd Abbott.


Ivy Tech Community College has received a $5,000 donation from HOLA, an organization that aims to enhance cultural diversity and ensure the success of local Latinos. The donation will help to create the Dream Big Scholarship Fund for Latino students who have financial need but may not have access to state and federal aid.

The gift was especially important to the college on Giving Tuesday, according to Ivy Tech Evansville Chancellor Daniela Vidal.

“We also want to announce that HOLA’s donation and the number of students we can serve was just increased, as we will match that $5,000 with funding from donors who have a similar mission – for a total of $10,000 to be used for Latino students in need,” Vidal said.


A $50,000 donation has established the Matt LaFontaine Automotive Endowed Scholarship at Kirtland Community College. The donation comes from Matt and Christine LaFontaine, owners of the Matt LaFontaine Automotive Group.

The college will rename its automotive technology building the Matt LaFontaine Automotive Technology Center.

New Jersey

Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) has some new equipment for its computer and engineering technology programs. Lockheed Martin donated two spectrum analyzers and two network analyzers to the college.

“This is our way of helping RCBC so they can help us,” said Alexander Silvestro of Lockheed Martin. “The technicians who report to me use this equipment on a daily basis. If RCBC students use it in their classrooms, they will come to me a step ahead. Students having this advanced capability make them a more attractive hire for Lockheed and the industry, as well.”

Lockheed and RCBC have long partnered, working to align curriculum with industry needs, and helping to prepare students for internships and full-time employment at Lockheed.

Silvestro recently hired four RCBC alum to full-time positions at Lockheed.

“This is a great example of the synergies that exist between Rowan College at Burlington County and leading employers such as Lockheed Martin,” said RCBC President Michael Cioce.


Umpqua Community College (UCC) has received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions Program.

The funding will allow the college to hire two staff members to help students transition to college-level courses.

UCC also will establish a writing center in the library to help students master college-level writing in their first year. Funded technology improvements include a teaching and learning hub to develop a collaborative space for teaching, a student support center, and a smart classroom for training and professional development. An early alert software system will help identify students who need extra academic assistance.

“We have a lot of challenges to solve with our first-year students, ensuring that they are ready to start college and able to access technology. This grant will help us face those challenges and get them across the finish line and advance with a successful entry into well-paying careers,” said Danielle Haskett, dean of learning support services.


A $25,000 donation to Patrick & Henry Community College (P&HCC) endows a scholarship and honors the memory of long-serving NASCAR official Bobby Scruggs. The scholarship will benefit students in the P&HCC Racing College.

The donation comes from the Bobby Scruggs Charitable Foundation, which has made annual donations to P&HCC’s foundation.

About the Author

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