Funding roundup

Kerry Tebow is a Tidewater Community College mechatronics graduate who now works in the field. More students will have opportunities to study mechatronics thanks to a donation to the college. (Photo: TCC)

Tidewater Community College (TCC) has received a $5,000 donation from Mitsubishi Chemical America to support scholarships for high school students. Specifically, it will help Chesapeake Public School students dually enrolled in the Virginia college’s mechatronics program.

“Manufacturing has changed considerably since we began operations in Chesapeake 30 years ago. The TCC mechatronics program develops a technically skilled workforce that will help us continue to innovate in the years to come,” said Bill Yannetti, chief operating officer of Mitsubishi Chemical America – ALPOLIC Division.

The donation brings Mitsubishi Chemical America’s giving to TCC to $17,615 over the last four years.

Connecticut

A $1 million gift to Norwalk Community College’s (NCC’s) foundation came with one unique stipulation: all the funds must be used within two years to help address the most pressing needs of NCC and its students.  

One of NCC’s priorities for the funding is to enhance wraparound and emergency services for students.

“We know that our students are resilient and highly capable, but many of them face increasing challenges with childcare, transportation, housing, access to technology, food insecurity and mental health. These are all circumstances that must be addressed in conjunction with a full complement of academic support services if our students to be successful,” said Cheryl DeVonish, NCC’s CEO.

The donors, who wish to remain anonymous, said, “We are passionate believers in the human potential, and we believe that an investment today in Norwalk Community College amplifies the opportunity to improve outcomes for thousands of NCC students. … We couldn’t be more excited to provide support to NCC’s vision and strategic priorities and to see the enhancement and expansion of programming enable the realization of the highest potential for its students and community.”  

Florida

Seminole State College of Florida’s Workforce Jumpstart Program got its own jumpstart with a $15,000 grant from Duke Energy. The program allows students to immediately get work by receiving a GED at the same time as they receive a certification in HVAC, electrical or building trade technologies.

“Thanks to the support from our partnership with Duke Energy Florida, Seminole State College students are achieving their professional goals faster and helping to meet the employment needs of high-demand professions,” said John Gyllin, vice president of resource and economic development and executive director of the college’s foundation.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis announced this month that $3.7 million will go to Valencia College through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. The college will start a robotics technician program to support semiconductor and other advanced manufacturing in Osceola County.

The new program will have two tracks: a 14-week robotics technology program with training that is applicable across multiple manufacturing and logistics sectors, and a 20-week specialized robotics program that trains technicians to work in the semiconductor industry.

The two programs combined are expected to train 120 people in the first two years for jobs with average starting salaries of $21 to $27 an hour.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis presents a check to Valencia College President Kathleen Plinske (right) for the college to provide a robotics technician program. (Photo: Valencia)

Missouri

A $12,000 grant means St. Louis Community College (STLCC) dental hygiene and dental assisting students can better serve their smallest patients.

The walk-in dental clinic at Forest Park has seen an increasing number of pediatric patients. With the grant from Delta Dental of Missouri, STLCC will purchase two intra-oral, pediatric-sized radiograph sensors for use in its clinic.

“Delta Dental is providing our students with tools they need to both learn and to serve our community through the dental clinic,” said Julie Fickas, STLCC-Forest Park’s president and chief academic officer.

New York

With a $1.65 million seed grant from the New York Community Trust, LaGuardia and Hostos community colleges are launching a new initiative to help low-income local communities affected by Covid.  

The NYC Accelerated Workforce Recovery Hub will provide workforce training for high-demand jobs for at least 400 New Yorkers over an initial 18-month pilot period.

“The Hub is an audacious effort that will open up access to a wide variety of in-demand workforce training programs through scholarships and wraparound support services,” said LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams.

Adds Hostos Community College President Daisy Cocco De Filippis: “Sharing our resources and educational acumen to positively impact the workforce of New York City is important and we are proud to be a part of the work.”

Texas

El Paso Community College (EPCC) has received a $25,000 memorial donation from Greater Texas Foundation to honor the legacy of Diana Natalicio. The college will add the contribution to the established Dr. Diana Natalicio Endowment to support student scholarships.

Natalicio was president of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) for 31 years until her retirement in 2019. She passed away in 2021. During her tenure, Natalicio established a nationally recognized alliance between UTEP and EPCC that is still a model partnership between a community college and university.

“Dr. Natalicio was a fierce proponent of advocating for access and excellence in higher education which benefitted all students in our region,” said EPCC President William Serrata. “We are grateful for the generosity of the Greater Texas Foundation to support EPCC students and ensure that Dr. Natalicio’s legacy lives on.”

Greater Texas Foundation wanted to honor Natalicio’s influence on Hispanic student success and insistence that low-income students have the opportunity to access higher education.

“Dr. Natalicio’s passion for student success is well aligned with the foundation’s vision to ensure that all Texas students have equal opportunity to access and succeed in postsecondary education,” said Ralph Rushing, chair of Greater Texas Foundation’s board of directors. “We are proud to honor her legacy by increasing access to financial aid for students.”

Former UTEP President Diana Natalicio with EPCC President William Serrata. Natalicio died in 2021, but her memory lives on through the Dr. Diana Natalicio Endowment at EPCC. (Photo: EPCC)

Lone Star College-North Harris will use a $200,000 Dual Credit for All grant to help high school students enrolling in career and technical education programs. The grant is from the Greater Texas Foundation.

“LSC-North Harris will serve additional students by covering the program costs, which can often be expensive for many of our students,” said Cathleen Tyson-Ferrol, director of educational services and partnerships. “This grant will help increase the supply of students pursuing CTE certification to meet the demands of the Houston economy while exposing additional students to stackable educational options after they obtain level I certification.”

One of the goals of the grant is to increase dual credit enrollment by 23%.

Virginia

Lord Fairfax Community College’s (LFCC’s) efforts to keep students nourished were bolstered by a $5,000 grant from the Chain of Checks Campaign.

Food insecurity represents a significant challenge for many LFCC students. A 2020 survey of all 23 colleges in the Virginia Community College System found that one-third of students faced food insecurity, with 63% not applying for public benefits because they were unaware of their eligibility.

“Stop and think about it – how can you learn when you’re hungry?” said Chain of Checks founder and president, retired radio personality Barry Lee, who presented the check at LFCC. “They have an incredible program here, and we’re just happy to be able to help them out.”

About the Author

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