Funding roundup

A grant to Central Oregon Community College will support college preparatory programs, such as the Ganas summer program for Latinx high schoolers. (Photo: COCC)

Central Oregon Community College’s (COCC) has received a $184,902 grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust’s equitable education portfolio to help expand and implement the college’s equity and diversity programs.

Most of the funding will support COCC’s college preparatory programs for underserved district high schoolers. Some funding will cover a Native American program staff member’s salary and help underwrite a program for Black high school students that is being developed. Funds also will go toward enhancing equity-centered professional development at COCC, bringing more training offerings to faculty and staff.

“This incredible aid will directly benefit the futures of many youths in our underserved communities, offering them educational direction and access to technology and resources that they wouldn’t otherwise have,” said Christy Walker, the college’s director of diversity and inclusion.

More than 80 student participants of the college’s Latinx, Native American and Afrocentric college preparatory programs will receive a complimentary laptop thanks to this and other funding.

Alabama

Wallace State Community College’s Future Foundation raised $257,000 during its annual Student Investment Luncheon and Auction. More than 400 supporters gathered for an event catered by the Wallace State culinary arts program and participated in live and silent auctions.

The fundraiser historically provides more than $200,000 annually for Wallace State student scholarships. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the foundation awarded 212 students more than $347,000 in scholarships.

California

The San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) Foundation is receiving more than $200,000 in grants to support first-year students, provide scholarships and cover the cost of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exams.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians awarded a $100,000 grant for Valley-Bound Commitment, a program that aims to reduce economic barriers that may deter academic success. Since 2008, this program has covered enrollment fees and textbooks costs for hundreds of low-income students from local high schools during their first year at SBVC. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians have provided almost $2 million to support the program over the past 13 years.

Edison International has granted the SBVC Foundation two awards: $50,000 for the clean energy hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) technician program and $25,000 for STEM scholarships. This is Edison’s 11th year working with SBVC to provide scholarships to students pursuing careers in STEM fields like computer science, bioengineering and mechanical engineering. 

A $25,000 grant from SoCalGas will make more scholarships possible. It will provide 20 $1,000 scholarships for economically disadvantaged students enrolled in alternative fuels classes or taking alternative fuels certification exams, and $5,000 to promote these courses and sponsor the SBVC 95th Anniversary Gala.

Finally, a $15,000 Careers in Aviation Project grant from Wells Fargo will help aeronautics students. SBVC’s aviation maintenance technician certificate is designed to prepare students to qualify for the airframe and powerplant certificate, which is issued by the FAA and allows recipients to perform 100 hours and annual inspections on aircraft. The grant will cover the cost of the airframe and powerplant certificate for low-income students.

Illinois

Oakton Community College received a $100,000 grant from longtime supporter the Rivers Casino Charitable Foundation to fund student scholarships.

Including this latest contribution, Rivers has provided more than $700,000 to the college’s educational foundation.

“Over the past decade, nearly 1,000 students have been able to start, continue and complete their college education because of Rivers’ generosity,” said Katherine Sawyer, Oakton’s chief advancement officer and foundation executive director.

Representatives from the Rivers Casino Charitable Foundation present a check to Oakton Community College President Joianne L. Smith (center) and others from OCC.

Iowa

Des Moines Area Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College, Iowa Western Community College and North Iowa Area Community College each received a $1 million grant from the Iowa Department of Education’s Career Academy Incentive Fund.

The colleges will work to increase access to career academy programs in high-demand fields through new regional centers. Students in partnering school districts will benefit from industry partnerships, earn high school and college credit and gain technical and traditional academic skills offered through career and technical education (CTE) programs.

Massachusetts

The dental clinic at Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) can enhance its sterilization center thanks to a $73,903 grant from the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts. This will allow MWCC to improve training for dental hygiene and dental assistant students in sterilization and infection control procedures and processes.

The grant also will enable MWCC to host Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School dental assisting program students in the clinical setting.

Michigan

Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) has received a $90,000 aviation workforce development grant to train 40 high school teachers in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) fundamentals, as well as equip each teacher with a multi-rotor unit to use with their own students. 

The grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aims to address the need for operators and technicians in the growing UAS field. Providing high school teachers the knowledge and skills to develop new UAS programs or update existing ones will help to better align high school and NMC programs, easing the pathway to industry and employment.

The grant builds upon NMC’s selection as a UAS Collegiate Training Program, the only one in Michigan, by the FAA in 2020.

Oklahoma

Tulsa Community College (TCC) will use a $2.3 million U.S. Education Department grant to build comprehensive wraparound services for students.

“As a college, we’ve made tremendous strides to graduate more students and saw a 22% increase in our graduation rate over the past five years. Our work has not stopped, and with an additional $2.25 million, TCC can concentrate and expand academic supports for students to increase retention and success in college and in life,” said TCC President Leigh B. Goodson.

With the funding, TCC will embed tutors in developmental reading and writing courses as well as embed success coaches in sections of the college success course. The college also will add a career component so students can get exposure to their chosen career path as they get started in college.

Pennsylvania

HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, and the PNC Foundation unveiled a new effort to build a more diverse police and emergency medical technician (EMT) talent pipeline for the region. The foundation will fund this effort through a $112,500 grant over three years.

HACC will focus on recruiting and training 36 low- to moderate-income Black students in the college’s Municipal Police Academy and EMT program.

“Since one of HACC’s core values is inclusivity, this initiative exemplifies our authentic and action-oriented commitment to this value,” said HACC President John J. “Ski” Sygielski.

Tennessee

Helen Darcey was an associate professor of mathematics at Cleveland State Community College (CSCC) since 1979. She passed away in 2019, leaving the college’s foundation an estate donation of approximately $60,000.

“Cleveland State was fortunate to have Helen Darcey as a member of the math department for over 40 years,” said CSCC President Bill Seymour. “Her contributions to the college went beyond the classroom, and that continues to be true with her gift to the college’s foundation.”

Aside from teaching math, Darcey served on the faculty senate and led the committee that helped to create the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning. She was instrumental in the math redesign project, creating videos for the college algebra course.  

About the Author

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