Funding roundup

Columbus State assistant professor Larry McWherter, who will lead the National IT Innovation Center initiative, demonstrates biometric cybersecurity interfaces to participants in GenCyber Summer Camp. (Photo: Columbus State)

Columbus State Community College (Ohio) will launch a new national information technology center using a $7.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation as part of its Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program.

The new National Information Technology Innovation Center (NITIC) will work with employers, community colleges across the country and others to prepare technicians through credential programs. Columbus State is the lead institution in the NITIC, joined by partners from Collin College (Texas), Lone Star College (Texas), Maricopa Community Colleges (Arizona) and Sinclair College (Ohio).

The NITIC will be the sole ATE national center focused on IT education.

Columbus State assistant professor Larry McWherter will lead NITIC as principal investigator on the grant.

“Each institution in this partnership brings deep experience and success to advance IT training outcomes in our home regions,” McWherter said. “Equally important in our world of constant challenge and change, we’re closely aligned with employer partners who help us meet the needs of our current and future workforce. I’m excited to combine our strengths toward the common goals of provisioning and strengthening the nation’s IT workforce as a critical asset.”


The University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College’s (UA-PTC’s) diesel technology program is getting a $692,626 grant to equip graduates with skills in using emerging technologies in the transportation field.

Arkansas Office of Skills Development (OSD) and the board of trustees of the University of Arkansas System, acting on behalf of the University of Arkansas, entered into a memorandum of understanding to issue the grant funding for the purchase of the equipment, trainers and tools required to attain Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Accreditation in medium/heavy duty truck service technology.

In response to local industry demand for truck service technicians, UA-PTC is upgrading its program in medium/heavy duty truck service technology and will offer accreditation in ASE medium/heavy duty inspection, maintenance and minor repair, to be followed by accreditation in ASE truck service technology.


The San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) has received a $1.8 million California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation grant focused on training people with disabilities so they are competitive for jobs earning at least the minimum wage.

With the three-year grant, the district can serve more than 100 individuals with disabilities who are now working in jobs that pay below the minimum wage.

The grant is the result of state legislation that requires workers with disabilities to be paid at least the state’s minimum wage by 2025. SDCCD’s disability support programs and services will work with the disabled services program at San Diego College of Continuing Education to serve participants in the program. The college already offers a vocational skills training program, while the district will provide vocational support services, including vocational counseling, educational coaching, peer mentoring, employment services and post-employment support. 


Delgado Community College (DCC) and partner BioMADE have secured a $510,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the ATE program. The funding will support the development of bioindustrial manufacturing curricula, train the Gulf South area workforce, participate in professional development and provide continuing education.

Industry subject matter experts will develop eight plug-and-play modules that can be dropped into pre-existing courses, easing the burden on faculty. Each module will include presentations, learning assessments and lab exercises as relevant.

DCC will serve as a pilot for the new modular curricula before dissemination and deployment of products to other community colleges. Once evaluated and refined, the modules will be distributed to educators and workforce professionals nationwide.


Students at Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) will benefit from a donation of two heavy-duty trucks by Dead River Company, a home heating provider. The gifts will support EMCC’s commercial driving and mechanics programs.

This latest donation makes for a total of 18 donated vehicles to the Maine Community College System since 2011.

In 2011, Dead River Company donated 11 trucks valued at $100,000 to the diesel truck and heavy equipment programs at EMCC, Northern Maine and Washington County community colleges. Then, in 2018, the company donated five heavy-duty trucks to support a new training center for commercial drivers based at EMCC. 


Hennepin Technical College has received a $1 million federal grant to expand training for future police officers and public safety professionals.

Hennepin Technical College will use a new federal grant for curriculum and training updates, including upgrading its video simulator. (Photo: Hennepin Tech)

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minnesota) helped secure the grant in partnership with another Minnesota two-year college, which also received $1 million in funding. The two colleges provide education to 60% of all licensed peace officers in the state.

Hennepin Tech will use the grant to support curriculum and training updates and public safety program offered on its Brooklyn Park campus.

“The grant is an important investment in public safety and will allow Hennepin Tech to keep our commitment to building strong communities and producing the nation’s best-trained police officers and public safety officers,” said Hennepin Tech President Joy Bodin.

About the Author

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