Indian River State College (IRSC) will receive $14.2 million in state funding to support its efforts to grow the local healthcare workforce. The funding will help the college double the capacity of its nursing program, improving access to nursing careers for students, and addressing local and state workforce demands.
IRSC is repurposing 50,521-square-feet of space at its Pruitt Campus in Port St. Lucie to meet this immediate need. The renovation will result in new classrooms and laboratories, including a high-fidelity simulation center. The state budget includes $12 million for capital outlay and $2.2 million to outfit the space with simulated clinical-learning opportunities and improve the resources available to students and faculty.
“The return on investment for this project and the impact on our community is enormous,” said IRSC President Timothy Moore, noting that 76% of IRSC students stay in the region after graduation and more than 90% stay in Florida.
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Broward College also will expand its nursing program thanks to a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Broward’s Answer the Call for Healthcare Professionals (HealthPro) Project aims to support the development of three nursing career pathways: nursing assistant, medical assistant and home health aid. Among other things, the college plans to collaborate with industry experts and academic partners to develop and implement evidence-based strategies to increase student access to nursing career pathways, design support services for students and integrate cutting-edge technologies into the program.
Students in Minneapolis College’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) program will benefit from a $45,000 Conservation Improvement Plan (CIP) Scholarship Grant from the Xcel Energy Foundation.
The scholarship funds from the foundation are available to be matched by state workforce development grants, which together total $5,000 in awards annually.
Four New Jersey community colleges have received $40,000 awards from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and Journalism + Design (NJCH/J+D) at The New School. The funds will help to train faculty members and fund tuition-free, noncredit certificates in community journalism.
Atlantic Cape Community College, Mercer County Community College, Middlesex College and Sussex County Community College will each develop their certificate programs through training and support from NJCH/J+D and other local news experts. Each college also will facilitate partnerships with local media and community organizations to provide pathways for program participants to get involved in local news production.
The program aspires to establish and promote community colleges as trusted hubs for news and information, particularly in communities that lack reliable local sources. The colleges will launch their inaugural certificate programs in spring 2024.
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Raritan Valley Community College’s (RVCC’s) nursing program has received a second historic gift from the Somerset Hills Community Health Foundation (SHCHF) – a $90,000 donation to fund scholarships.
As with last year’s $100,000 gift, the new commitment will fund 10 full scholarships, at $7,500 each, with an additional $15,000 to help offset textbook and nursing program expenses for dozens of other nursing students.
“I wouldn’t be here without this incredible support. It has truly been life-changing for me,” said Elicia Levandoski, a Class of ’23 grad of the RVCC nursing program and one of 10 inaugural recipients of last year’s gift from SHCHF.
LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC) is receiving a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its program to prepare future professionals in the field of food and agriculture.
The college will launch an animal science discovery program in partnership with Rutgers University that will, ultimately, build a pathway from LAGCC to Rutgers.
The project will include a paid, summer experiential learning program for LAGCC students at the Rutgers farm and research laboratories, transfer scholarships and peer mentorship, career development and a USDA career pipeline. Through this program, LAGCC will have a USDA liaison on its campus to assist in guiding students through the pipeline.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) will use a $100,000 grant from the North Carolina Community College System’s Expanding Community College Economic Impact grant program to grow the college’s paramedic program.
RCCC is the eighth-largest community college in the state, but since 2018, it has tripled its EMS program enrollment – making it the second-largest EMS program in the state. Annually, North Carolina EMS agencies need more than 740 newly credentialed paramedics, yet in 2021, the state only provided credentials to 530 paramedics.
The expansion introduces a new academy-style instructional format. Similar to an apprenticeship-style program, the new Cabarrus County Paramedic Program is one of the first of its kind in the state.
The former paramedic program model required 12-15 months to complete. Then, students were required to find employment and participate in an intensive orientation and probation period. The new model works with agencies to enroll employed EMTs in a six-to-eight-month paramedic program. The addition of the academy model expands the college’s capacity and will increase the annual number of graduates.
With a $867,839 federal grant, Portland Community College (PCC) can better support students struggling with mental health issues, housing insecurity and trauma-informed care training for PCC staff and faculty. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s Basic Needs for Postsecondary Students Program.
“These grant funds could not have come sooner for our students and will improve awareness and access to basic needs support at the college, with the intentional focus on mental health and housing,” said Lauren Smith, executive dean of PCC’s student belonging and well-being.
To address both the housing and mental health needs of students, PCC will hire a housing navigator and a mental health provider. The grant will allow for the training of PCC employees about trauma-informed approaches to identify and support students with basic needs insecurity.
Jackson State Community’s College’s (JSCC’s) criminal justice program has received $320,000 of a larger $30 million state grant to help higher education institutions prepare highly qualified candidates for law-enforcement positions.
JSCC has acquired a training simulator along with a scaled training jail cell and additional training equipment that will allow the criminal justice program to better provide real-world, hands-on training to its students to prepare them to work through situations routinely experienced on the job confidently.
The college also recently received $500,000 to support its medical coding program through the Health Resources & Services Administration’s (HRSA) Delta Region Rural Health Workforce Training Program. This is the second wave of grant funding through HRSA, bringing the total funding to JSCC to $1.7 million.
As part of this additional funding, the medical coding program will now offer a second tier of training, focused on current healthcare professionals looking to upskill and earn industry credentials.