Funding roundup

Four women join hands in an "all in" gesture at M State.Minnesota State Community and Technical College will use a $150,000 grant to provide enhanced supports for women and gender-expansive students. (Photo: M State)

Thanks to a new $150,000 grant from the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Minnesota State Community and Technical College is enhancing its educational and entrepreneurial support services for women and gender-expansive students.

The “We Thrive” grant program was designed to foster the long-term success of women and their families through the growth of intergenerational wealth. M State will use the funds to bolster its wraparound support services, such as career planning, childcare, transportation, laptops and mental health services. In addition, the West Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center will provide women with one-on-one business consultation services.

The goal of the one-year grant is to increase the number of women enrolled in nontraditional career pathways at M State and increase retention rates among students of color who identify as women. Another goal is enhanced communication from students regarding their basic needs, which will drive the college’s direction in developing partnerships with local industry, workforce organizations and K-12 schools.

Women and gender-expansive students comprise 61% of M State’s total student enrollment. Of those, 22% identify as students of color.


Shawnee Community College will use a $150,000 Illinois Community College Board grant to expand access to pathways into health occupations for rural and at-risk students. In particular, the college will create Project HOPES (Healthcare Occupation Pupils for Educational Success) in partnership with the 12 high schools in its district.

Expanding access will mean creating a fully built health occupations pathway in five of the high schools, exploring flexible instructional delivery methods for students, offering dual-credit courses for health career exploration and occupational math, and providing high school dual-credit teachers professional development.

“Project HOPES is an opportunity for SCC to partner with our high schools and local service providers to provide students with an introduction and clear path to a fulfilling career that will allow them to earn a living wage here at home,” said SCC Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs April Teske. 


SOWELA Technical Community College has received a $1 million donation from Phillips 66 that will support the expansion of the college’s Process Technology Center, which serves the talent needs of the oil and gas field.  

The $1.7-million expansion of 3,500 square feet doubles the facility’s lab space, increases hands-on learning opportunities and helps the college accommodate the program’s strong enrollment in process technology. 

On average, industrial plants hire four process operators for every engineer, making the Process Technology Center an essential part of the workforce and economic development.

Officials from Phillips 66 presented a $1 million donation to SOWELA Technical Community College. (Photo: SOWELA)

New York

Con Edison awarded grants totaling more than $4 million to four New York organizations, including LaGuardia Community College. The four organizations will train more than 1,200 participants from underserved communities for careers in clean energy and technology fields over the next three years.

LaGuardia Community College, in partnership with Urban Upbound and Building Skills NY, will recruit jobseekers from low-income communities of color, including local public housing residents to train as solar installation technicians and electrical helpers. Program participants will be connected to a range of clean energy jobs.

With the help of Con Edison volunteer mentors, the program will provide retention services and financial counseling to graduates for one year to help participants succeed and advance their careers over time.

The college also has received a $210,000 grant from the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation for the LaGuardia English Express program. Launched in December, the program offers English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) instruction contextualized for day-to-day needs, like speaking to an employer, a teacher, a landlord or a doctor.

So far, the program, which is run through the college’s Center for Immigrant Education and Training, has served 47 New Yorkers.

North Carolina

Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) has received a $6.3 million National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant to establish the Environmental and Natural Resources Technology (EARTh) Center, which will serve as a national hub for supporting technical education and workforce training needs within the environmental technology sector across the United States.

The center’s primary initiative will be to collaborate with educators and industry leaders to develop instructional and training materials in support of environmental industries. Services will include an instructional design team and an extended reality team to develop training simulations for technical programs. Educators will also receive mentoring and professional development services.

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A scholarship fund at Southwestern Community College (SCC) just received a substantial boost. The Robert P. Holding Foundation recently added $25,000 to the First Citizens Bank Endowed Scholarship Fund – pushing the total value over the $80,000 mark.

The First Citizens Bank Endowed Scholarship is available to any student attending SCC.

SCC President Don Tomas (left) accepts a ceremonial check for the college’s First Citizens Bank Endowed Scholarship (Photo: SCC)


Dallas College Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary year with a series of events and a big gift announcement: A $1 million gift from the Chesmar Foundation to support students at the Dallas College School of Education.

The grant will fund a scholarship program that targets aspiring teachers and students engaged in paid work-based experiences at Texas public schools. The program will develop innovative partnerships with local school districts to employ graduates.

“Through community partners like Chesmar Foundation, Dallas College Foundation can change the equation when it comes to preparing the teacher workforce that our growing community needs,” said Josh Skolnick, executive director of Dallas College Foundation.

Dallas College is the first community college in Texas to offer a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and teaching.

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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