Funding roundup

Graduates of St. Louis Community College's FastTrack HiSET program celebrate their success. (Photo: STLCC)

St. Louis Community College’s (STLCC) FastTrack HiSET program is getting a boost from a $6,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

“The STLCC FastTrack HiSET program helps out-of-school adults in St. Louis City achieve high school equivalency quickly, which improves their workforce readiness or prepares them for secondary education,” said Susan Ryffel, adult education and literacy instructor and transition specialist.

The program is offered through STLCC’s continuing education adult education and literacy section.

Unlike traditional GED/HiSET classes, the FastTrack program achieves success through immediate enrollment, flexible hours, a curriculum tailored to each student, skilled and avid instructors and tutors, and by providing HiSET testing vouchers, gas cards and bus tickets for each student. Graduates have immediate support from a dedicated transitions coordinator who guides them through college or job applications and connects them to STLCC’s workforce training programs.


West Hills Community College District will create the Citizen & Undergraduate Science Project (CUSP) using a $692,605 California State Parks grant. The grant comes through the Outdoor Equity Program, helps to empower youths and families with outdoor leadership education, career pathways, environmental justice engagement and access to nature.

West Hills’ CUSP program will include 30 activity days in the community for about 1,200 local participants. It will also provide about 20 trips to natural areas for 670 participants over four years.

New York

With funding from Ponce Bank, the City University of New York (CUNY) will start a new scholarship program to benefit undergraduate students who live in economically disadvantaged communities, identify as members of a minority group and attend any of 12 CUNY senior and community colleges. The program will begin this fall, and funds will total $60,000 annually with individual awards of between $1,000 and $2,500 per student.  

“This generous scholarship funding from Ponce Bank will make it easier for a great number of New Yorkers to pursue their undergraduate studies at CUNY, supporting our University’s mission to elevate our students and, ultimately, the many diverse communities of New York City,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.

(From left) Ponce Bank President and CEO Carlos Naudon, CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez and Ponce Bank Senior Vice President and Chief External Affairs Officer Madeline V. Marquez. (Photo: CUNY)

North Carolina

Brunswick Community College (BCC) received $200,000 through the Golden LEAF Foundation’s Open Grants Program to support the expansion of advanced manufacturing training. The college will modernize its machine technology program with new equipment.

“As more employers relocate here, BCC is ready with accelerated training and workforce credentials to prepare a new generation of talent for Brunswick County’s manufacturers,” said Greg Bland, vice president of economic workforce development and continuing education.

Haywood Community College (HCC) was another Golden LEAF grantee, receiving $333,761 for simulation equipment to help equip the newly constructed Health Education Building, particularly the simulated hospital unit.

In May, HCC received a $1.45 million Golden LEAF grant to begin short-term training programs for electrical lineworker, truck driving and broadband technicians.

Upward Bound grants

Upward Bound programs at several community colleges will continue thanks to new funding from the U.S. Education Department (ED).  

Upward Bound, which is one of the federal Trio Programs, is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree. 

According to ED, 86% of Upward Bound participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In fiscal year 2021, more than 70,000 students enrolled in 966 Upward Bound TRIO projects. 

Among the grantees is Wallace Community College – Dothan (WCCD) in Alabama, which will receive nearly $1.8 million over five years for the WCCD Upward Bound program. Central Arizona College will get $1.5 million – its second Upward Bound grant. And Hagerstown Community College (HCC) in Maryland received its third five-year Upward Bound grant, totaling $1.48 million. In the 10 years that HCC has received grant funding, 215 students have participated in the program.

In Michigan, Mott Community College (MCC) has been awarded a total of $1.6 million.

“This program has served the Flint Community Schools and Mott Middle College for more than 40 years, touching the lives of thousands of young people and their families. Our program has graduated several valedictorians, creating space for them to follow their academic and career dreams,” said Glenn Martin, director Upward Bound programs at MCC.

A $4.5 million grant to Miami Dade College (MDC) will go toward the college’s North, Wolfson and Homestead Campuses and benefit students from three local high schools.

And in Oregon, Chemeketa Community College will receive three Upward Bound grants totaling $4.7 million. Chemeketa’s original Upward Bound program, which serves 74 students each year, has helped the community for more than 20 years. The two new Upward Bound grants will enable the program to expand services to five additional high schools.

About the Author

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