Funding roundup

Flip and Cindy Holt recently endowed two new scholarships for students at Southwestern Community College. They’re standing in front of SCC’s library, which is named in honor of Flip’s father, W. Paul Holt, Jr., who was a founding member of the college’s board of trustees. (Photo: SCC)

As a young boy, Flip Holt didn’t clearly understand the significance of his father’s involvement in founding Southwestern Community College (SCC) in North Carolina.

W. Paul Holt, Jr., who died in 2018, was a founding member of the board of trustees for the college. He served in that leadership role for more than 50 years. He’s also credited with starting the SCC Foundation in 1973, and he endowed multiple scholarships in his lifetime.

The younger Holt and his wife, Cindy, recently decided to expand the family’s impact on Southwestern by endowing two new scholarships while significantly growing several existing scholarship funds through the SCC Foundation.

The new funds will be named the W. Paul Holt, Jr., Endowed Scholarship in support of business administration programs and the Cindy and Flip Holt Endowed Scholarship in support of health sciences programs.

“Every year in the spring around here, you see everything blooming,” Flip Holt said. “Driving up here recently, I thought about how you never see the roots of the tree. You know that’s where everything is nourished from, where it gets its water and food and all that. To me, that’s SCC.”

Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs grants

Eight community colleges and systems are among the 34 public-private partnerships that are receiving multi-million grants from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to provide training to meet workforce needs in the renewable energy, transportation and broadband infrastructure sectors created through the administration’s infrastructure investments.

The Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs Grant Program will help grant recipients design, develop and grow training programs and work-based learning opportunities that prepare job seekers for high-demand, high-quality career pathways in advanced manufacturing, information technology and professional, scientific, and technical service occupations, according to DOL.

The department says projects funded by the grants will incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; strong career pathways to middle-to-high skilled jobs; and a focus on increasing job quality.

The community colleges and systems receiving grants (amounts rounded up) are:


Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve STEM education and increase diversity in STEM careers.  

The college will develop four research courses where students will work with faculty mentors on a shared research project. A project-dedicated advisor will provide support to students when they transfer to a four-year institution. An external evaluator will track their progress, which will help show the effect of community college research coursework on student success.

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A $1 million U.S. Department of Education grant will support the re-opening of a campus childcare center at Howard Community College (HCC).

HCC’s childcare center closed in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and related budget cuts. In partnership with the Community Action Council of Howard County, college officials say that the childcare center will serve as an important resource in anti-poverty initiatives by reducing childcare costs, creating much-needed Early Head Start programming for youth and encouraging degree completion.

“Access for students with young children is a critical element of the college mission and at the heart of any dialog about educational equity,” said HCC President Daria Willis.


Jackson College will use a $200,000 state grant to help more students turn experience into college credit. The Sixty by 30 Adult Student Success Grant will allow the college to create a streamlined process for awarding credit for prior learning (CPL) to incoming students.

“Through conversations with local industry partners, we realized the need for more defined CPL opportunities. Our local industry partners are looking for us to bridge the gap between in-house training, boot camps, alternative credentials and non-degree programming to academic credit,” said Jamie Vandenburgh, assistant dean of instruction.

Funds also will support the professional development of faculty and staff through the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN), specifically related to supporting adult learners.


Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) has received a $4 million donation from Kalispell businessman Paul Wachholz that will support the development of an entrepreneurship center at the college.

This is not Wachholz’s first major contribution to FVCC. In 2018, he donated $4 million for a new campus building, which includes a performing arts center, art gallery and gymnasium. The building was named the Paul D. Wachholz College Center

New York

SUNY Westchester Community College (SUNY WCC) will use a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to increase the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of students pursuing degrees in STEM, with a focus on serving Hispanic students.

Through this grant, SUNY WCC will establish a Hispanic-serving Institution resource hub (HSI-Hub) that will serve as a catalyst for initiatives at 14 regional SUNY and CUNY community colleges to enable them to more effectively serve the HSI community and its stakeholders.

Collaborators on the project include Mentor-Connect, a project that mentors community colleges in NSF grantsmanship, and the Center for Broadening Participation in STEM from Arizona State University.


Rhodes State College has secured a $2.2 million Strengthening Institutions grant from the U.S. Department of Education to redesign student support services, expand student support staff and add a one-stop student services center in the college’s Public Services Building.  

“Over the next five years, Rhodes State will use this grant to completely redesign the student experience focused on ensuring students are completely supported from the day they arrive on campus all the way through and beyond graduation,” said Brendan Greaney, vice president of enrollment management.


Blackhawk Technical College is working to close the local manufacturing skills gap with help from a $345,000 National Science Foundation grant.

The funds will enable Blackhawk instructors to launch the Advanced Technological Education in Manufacturing (ATEM) project, designed to bolster work-based learning opportunities and introduce innovative training methods to the region’s workforce.

In collaboration with industry partners, the ATEM project will include enhanced work-based learning opportunities, innovative training methods, hands-on projects and lab-based manufacturing projects.

Blackhawk Technical College’s new NSF-funded project will bolster the manufacturing workforce. (Photo: Blackhawk)

About the Author

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