Community Colleges Receiving Grants to Ease the Pinch of Tighter Budgets

Community Colleges Receiving Grants to Ease the Pinch of Tighter Budgets
Learn about a number of grants coming into community colleges across the country to help with budget shortfalls that have resulted from the Great Recession.

Since the Great Recession began a few short years ago, budgets have been a concern for community colleges, with less money coming in from their states. This problem is exacerbated by the unprecedented influx of students, from displaced workers seeking new training to high school graduates who can no longer afford a four-year university. Fortunately, some community colleges are seeing financial relief, as grants come in from a wide range of resources. We’ll take a look at some of the grants community colleges are receiving for the upcoming school year.

Grants Given to Ivy Tech for the Benefit of Military Students

Ivy Tech is the big winner in the grant offered to Indiana colleges by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University. This community college received more than a half-million in funding from the foundation. The money was awarded based on Ivy Tech’s efforts to enhance services for student service members, veterans, and their families, according to a report at Inside Indiana Business.

The money is offered in 12 separate grants that will go to many of the Ivy Tech campuses across the state. The funds will be used for the following:

  • The development of a podcast that will be used to educate students and faculty and create a supportive environment for veterans
  • Enhancement of relationships between with community agencies that work with the military population, such as WorkOne and Veterans of Foreign Affairs
  • The creation of a “Boots to Suits” program to help veterans transition to civilian life

Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder told Inside Indiana Business, “We are very proud to be honored with these 12 grants. I’m looking forward to seeing these proposals put into action and the impact the project will have on service members, veterans, and their families.”

This video offers an overview of Ivy Tech Community College.

Santa Fe Community College Getting Grants to Go Green

Santa Fe Community College is also receiving additional funding this year through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote green jobs in New Mexico. The Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant totals $300,000 and will be used to fund the Brownsfield Job Training Program. The program is designed help displaced workers and military veterans learn the skills they need to work in environmental jobs.

According to a report at, the jobs will be found in solid waste management, energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy preparation and installation. EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz told, “The Brownsfield Job Training Program provides a tremendous opportunity for people to learn the skills needed to secure full-time employment in the environmental field. Green job creation is important to our economy and we will continue to work with communities to further sustainable initiatives.”

This video offers an overview of Santa Fe Community College.

Grants Offered in Indiana to Raise Completion Rates

In addition to the military grant, Ivy Tech has also received money from Complete College America, an organization funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Complete College America offers grants to community colleges that are providing services and programs to help students graduate from their certificate or degree program. Ten states received grants from this organization this year, but the lion’s share of the money went to Ivy Tech Community College to develop remediation courses, according to a report at WISH TV8.

Ivy Tech president Snyder told WISH TV8, “The issue here is that every semester, 25,000 students, more than 10 percent of our students, are in some kind of English or math or writing remediation. 15,000 of those are adult learners, been out of school five years or more.”

Literacy Grants Currently Available

Community colleges that are interested in helping Latinos and other families earn degrees can apply for one of the 10 grants currently offered by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL). This organization is partnering with funding from the MetLife Foundation to expand the reach of NCFL to more schools and community groups across the country. According to Newswise, the grants will help community colleges make the most of online resources to ensure students at those schools can maximize their odds of success.

Programs might include transitional services to help non-traditional students succeed, community programs to promote investments in education or work to align GED instruction with college and career success. Dennis White, MetLife Foundation president, and CEO, told Newswise, “This support will encourage adult learners, parents, and families to continue their education and prepare for careers. We hope the grants will help communities and students of all ages make lifelong learning a reality.”

This video offers an overview of the National Center for Family Literacy.

Grants for Technology Advancement Offered

The American Association of Community Colleges is also providing a grant program this year to promote STEM teaching in community colleges across the country. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which are the core fields of study used to prepare students for careers in technology industries. The colleges that receive the grants should be interested in working with a mentor who has successfully implemented such a program in other schools, according to the AACC website.

Money may be tight, but many community colleges nationwide are finding ways to beef up their budgets with grants from a broad array of various organizations and foundations. In addition to receiving the money needed for the next academic year, these schools are committing to helping their students succeed as productive members of the 21st-century workforce with jobs that will be in high demand for some time to come.

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