Palm Beach State College (PBSC) in Florida will receive $1 million in federal funding to train faculty and students in artificial intelligence (AI).
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Florida) announced the funding this month at the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence on PBSC’s Lake Worth campus. Funds were secured through the Community Project Funding process for the fiscal year 2023 budget.
Through a partnership with the University of Florida, faculty from the university will train up to 25 PBSC faculty members who, in turn, will teach the concepts to their students, develop an AI module for an existing course in their discipline and train the next group of PBSC faculty.
In addition to the training, PBSC will add augmented reality, virtual reality and powerful virtual desktop equipment for its classrooms.
During the funding presentation, PBSC President Ava Parker noted that while businesses have said about 40% percent of their work is shifting to AI, their ability to find workers who understand that technology is limited.
“We have to put our students at the forefront of this so that they are prepared to meet the workforce demand of our community and also of our country,’’ Parker said. “We’re not only raising the IT IQ of our students, we’re also raising the AI IQ as we partner with the University of Florida.”
MiraCosta College officials and students this month joined U.S. Rep. Mike Levin (D-California) as he announced new funding for the college’s Technology Career Institute’s (TCI) accelerated skills-based training programs.
The $1 million investment, secured by Levin in the government funding legislation passed by Congress in December, will create hands-on training courses to prepare students for jobs in high-skilled occupations in engineering, manufacturing and biomedical equipment.
Holyoke Community College (HCC) has received $1.27 million in state funds to expand its adult education programs in Holyoke and other communities in Hampden County.
The funds support direct programming at HCC’s Adult Learning Center in Holyoke and HCC’s Ludlow Area Adult Learning Center, as well as classes offered through the college’s partners in the Juntos Collaborative.
HCC will add English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) seats in West Springfield, in partnership with the West Springfield Public Library, and Holyoke, in addition to continuing remote and in-person classes in Ludlow, in partnership with Hubbard Memorial Library.
“Immigrants, refugees and other multilingual learners are a tremendous asset to our region, and we’re excited to provide increased access to services to help these communities achieve their education, career and civic engagement goals,” said Pesha Black, director of HCC’s ESOL programs.
The funding comes from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as part of a five-year, $250 million allocation to 74 institutions announced last month by the outgoing Gov. Charlie Baker. In this first year of funding, approximately $48.2 million in competitive grants will go to adult education service providers and another $2 million to adult education programs in state correctional institutions.
In addition to ESOL, grant funds will serve students earning their high school equivalency through adult basic education services.
Hudson County Community College (HCCC) will receive $2.2 million in federal Community Project Funding for a new technology initiative.
HCCC is building an 11-story, 153,186-square-foot academic tower facility in Jersey City. The federal funding will help with the college’s goal of providing “immersive telepresence video” (ITV) in the 24 classrooms of the new tower. ITV will allow remote students to connect to in-class learning from home or across classrooms and campuses.
“This is a game changer,” said HCCC President Christopher Reber.
The new building will include state-of-the-art classrooms, expanded spaces for student services, centralized offices for continuing education and workforce development, a university center for sister colleges and universities to offer baccalaureate instruction at HCCC, a healthcare lab, a black box theater, gym and more. Construction is expected to begin this spring.
In addition to the federal funding, the County of Hudson has committed up to $35 million for the tower’s construction.
LaGuardia Community College will continue to champion the need to enhance vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers thanks to a $404,774 financial boost through the U.S. Congressional Omnibus Appropriations Package.
With the new funding, LaGuardia’s division of adult continuing education and workforce development will purchase the latest, industry-standard equipment needed for accelerated training in the areas of electrical, plumbing and HVAC.
The trainings will be open to unemployed and underemployed individuals, formerly incarcerated, veterans, homeless, disconnected youth, TANF or SNAP recipients, those who lack a high school diploma or equivalent and those with limited English proficiency
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Queensborough Community College (QCC) has received a $450,000 grant from the Robin Hood Foundation, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization, to support the development of the Queensborough Male Resource Center (QMRC), an initiative dedicated to increasing the retention and graduation rates of male students, with a particular focus on self-identified Black and Latino males who are disproportionately impacted by equity gaps in student outcomes.
“This is a transformational opportunity for the college that will make a positive, life-changing difference for our male students who consistently experience lower retention and graduation rates,” said QCC President Christine Mangino. “This partnership with Robin Hood will allow us to advance our mission of providing holistic student support services that will ensure academic success and create a sense of belonging.”
In the last year and a half, QCC made significant investments in support of its commitment to equity and has laid a strong foundation to launch its partnership with Robin Hood. For example, QCC has created of a full-time Cabinet-level position to provide college-wide leadership of equity-focused initiatives and the development of an equity-focused five-year strategic plan. Queensborough also hosts New York City’s only AAC&U Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center.
Thanks to a new federal grant, Butler County Community College (BC3) can expand training opportunities for networking and cybersecurity program students.
BC3 is one of six Pennslyvania community colleges in a consortium led by Indiana University of Pennsylvania that will focus on cybersecurity education. The group will work to increase students’ completion rates in certification programs that strengthen the defense industrial base workforce, and the rates of students transferring to four-year colleges and universities.
The consortium received a $5 million National Defense Education Program grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. BC3’s allocation is about $400,000.
With its grant, BC3 can fund financial awards and boot camps and cover the cost of professional IT certification exams. The college also will compensate industry specialists who will serve as career advisers to the college’s networking and cybersecurity students, said Sherri Mack, dean of BC3’s business division.
At Aiken Technical College, a $2,000 donation from Bridgestone Americas, Inc. will support two student scholarships: The Bridgestone Americas Scholarship and the Bridgestone Industrial Maintenance Scholarship for Females and Minority Students.
The company is one of the college’s long-standing donors.
“We are committed to education and to building a diverse talent pool. We want to help develop future employees who plan to stay local and grow with our company,” said Mike Uhle, human resources manager at Bridgestone.
Fifteen Lone Star College (LSC) students will receive $1,000 grants thanks to a donation from OPITO, a company that sets standards for the energy industry. Students enrolled in the LSC process technology program are eligible to receive the funds.
“These scholarships will help increase underrepresented populations in the process technology industry,” said LSC Foundation Executive Director Nicole Robinson Gauthier.
In addition to the grants, students will receive hands-on skills and training on procedures and safety methods needed in their chosen careers.