Funding roundup

Holyoke Community College assistant professor Naomi Lesley teaches an English 101 composition class to inmates at the Hampden County Correctional Center. The college credit course is available at the jail through the HCC's Western Mass CORE program. (Photo: HCC)

Holyoke Community College has received an $81,605 Bridges to College grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to expand its Western Mass CORE program. CORE stands for “community, opportunity, resources and education.”

The program works in partnership with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department to facilitate pathways to education for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals.

“Our goal is to teach classes inside jails and connect people with college who want to continue their education, and to do that requires a lot of outreach, advising and mentoring,” said Nicole Hendricks, a criminal justice professor who founded the Western Mass CORE program with economics professor Mary Orisich in 2019.

The grant will allow Western Mass CORE to expand office hours, advising services and information sessions at the sheriff’s department’s All Inclusive Support Services facility, as well as host community events. In addition, the funding will support the hiring of a new community navigator position to lead outreach work.  

“The new grant plan centers on deepening connections, building relationships, networking and increasing college readiness,” Hendricks said.


Wallace Community College-Dothan (WCCD) will use a $373,400 grant to expand and improve criminal justice, public safety and small unmanned aircraft system training. The grant comes from the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).

WCCD is expanding its associate degree program with the criminal justice drone pilot emphasis. The program prepares students for an FAA remote pilot license.

“The new technology and equipment purchased through the grant will expand training opportunities, not only for enrolled students on a public safety career pathway but our local law enforcement agencies whose partnerships are vital to our program’s success,” said Jason Owen, WCCD criminal justice/automotive technology/welding technology division director.

WCCD also received a $300,796 ACCS grant for industrial diesel systems technology training. With the funding, WCCD will address a need in the manufacturing career cluster for training bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists, along with forklift and CDL class B drivers trained in multi-craft maintenance. 

The college will expand its existing basic automotive, truck and tractor service and repair short-term certificate program to include industrial diesel systems technology and will provide free CDL training within the year on the Sparks Campus in Eufaula.


The College of Central Florida (CF) can expand its nursing program thanks to $17 million in new funding.

The college received a $10.3 million commitment from the Citrus County Hospital Board and a $6.7 million Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE) grant funded by the Florida legislature. The LINE Fund was created in 2022 by state lawmakers to alleviate the nursing shortage by providing matching funds for nursing education programs that partner with healthcare providers. 

The $17 million to CF is one of the largest gift and grant commitments in the college’s history.

“CF is one of the most affordable colleges in the country and this unprecedented funding will make a high-quality, high-demand nursing career accessible to even more students in our community,” said CF President Jim Henningsen.

Seminole State College of Florida’s nursing program also received a LINE grant. The college received $750,000 through the grant program, as well as $1.4 million through the state’s Prepping Institutions, Programs, Employers, and Learners through the Incentives for Nursing Education (PIPELINE) program.

Seminole State President Georgia L. Lorenz said the LINE and PIPELINE programs “will help us continue our mission to produce highly skilled nurses which will help ease the nursing shortage in Florida.”


Bluegrass Community and Technical College and partners UK HealthCare and the University of Kentucky Area Health Education Center were awarded a $4.5 million U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) grant.

The Strengthening Community Colleges & Training Workforce Gateways grant aims to reduce equity gaps in educational and workforce pipelines, while addressing the critical shortage of healthcare professionals. Together, the organizations will work to improve diversity in the healthcare sector.

NEH grants

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded $28.1 million in grants for 204 humanities projects across the country. Here are some of the community colleges that are receiving grants:

Diné College in Arizona will get $150,000 to host a one-year forum series and produce a digital publication on the Navajo concepts of land and dwelling.

Kaskaskia College in Illinois will use a $116,488 grant for a three-year project exploring mortality, bereavement, death and dying. The project will impact faculty and students in nursing as well as members of the wider community.

New York’s LaGuardia Community College was awarded $148,391 to develop faculty workshops and experiential learning activities on teaching students how to conduct oral histories in the community.

Miami Dade College will use its $500,000 NEH grant on renovations at the Freedom Tower, a National Historic Landmark significant for its role in offering political asylum to Cuban refugees. The Freedom Tower is owned by the Miami Dade College North Campus.

New York

Bronx Community College (BCC) has received a $24,000 Campus Climate Change grant from the City University of New York (CUNY). This grant initiative aims to help CUNY campuses address the uptick in anti-Asian hate, antisemitism and other forms of discrimination.

BCC’s grant project will use Theatre in Education (TIE) techniques, interactive workshops and a common read program to identify, develop and facilitate a framework for having difficult conversations about race and ethnicity, religious differences and issues of equity and diversity.


A $400,000 donation to Tidewater Community College will support the expansion of the Skilled Trades Academy in Portsmouth. The academy offers hands-on, short-term instruction for in-demand trade jobs.

The donation from Elizabeth River Crossings OpCo will fund the development of new programs that address emerging in-demand careers and increase the capacity of current programs. It also will support renovations to double the size of the academy, creating a 40,000-square-foot, fully equipped facility.

“This gift ensures that even more students will be able to take short-term programs that have long-term gains,” said TCC President Marcia Conston.

About the Author

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