The Season of Giving for Community Colleges

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The Season of Giving for Community Colleges
It may be months from Christmas, but this summer has become the season of giving – and receiving – for many community colleges across the country.

Few people may be pulling out the Christmas lights or playing the carols just yet, but at community colleges across the country, the season of giving has already begun. Whether schools are helping those in need in their communities or receiving assistance from generous donors, 'tis the season for many of these schools. Check out how some community colleges are celebrating the giving and receiving season a little early this year.

Kauai Community College Reaches Out to Vets

This Hawaiian community college is making a point to provide opportunities to veterans on the Islands, particularly vets interested in pursuing higher education. The Garden Island reports that faculty from the school recently met with area vets to brainstorm ways for the school to reach out more effectively to this population. According to the article, the school had 41 vets enrolled during the past spring semester and would like to see that number increase.

"Kauai Community College is committed to serving the veterans by assisting them in enrolling in higher education, career counseling, succeeding in college, and finding a job," Earl Nishiguchi, vice chancellor for student affairs, told The Garden Island.

The meeting consisted of college employees listening to concerns raised by veterans and other military personnel in attendance. The hope is that this meeting will spark a partnership between the college and the army community, leading to increased educational and career success for vets who call the Islands home.

St. Louis Community College Cleans Up the Neighborhood

St. Louis Community College students got a double dose of learning and community service this summer. The South County Times reports that an introductory biology class was assigned to clean up the creek on the college campus as a service learning project. At the same time, students learned a firsthand lesson on how litter damages delicate ecosystems, with the intent that they would become more aware of how litter affects their neighborhoods at large.

"I want my students to see for themselves the real problem of litter in streams, to help with the community service of cleaning out the trash from the creek behind SCEUC [South County Education and University Center], to relate the problem of litter in the stream to the ecosystem they live in, and make plans to take action to address the litter problem in their neighborhood," Zoe Geist, the professor of the class, told the South County Times.

Geist recruited help from two Missouri Stream Team volunteers, who brought a trailer to haul away trash and other large debris the students collected.

Mt. Hood Community College Cares for Native Habitat and Kids

At Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon, students are participating in maintaining the state's natural habitats. The Oregonian reports that the program recruits young people who need a fresh start in the business of community service. At the same time, they learn about the state's native plants, shrubs, and trees and how to conserve vegetation to preserve the state's natural habitats.

The program is part of a larger organization, Project YESS (Youth Employability Support Services). Project YESS uses native seed conservation work to reach at-risk teens and young adults who may have had a rough start in life. The students work approximately 28 hours per week and are paid minimum wage. Some of the young students working in the program now plan to enroll at Mt. Hood Community College to pursue fields of study that will help them land good jobs in the future.

The native plant work is performed along the Sandy River in Oxbow Regional Park. Students study the ground, hunting for seeds from native plants in the area. The seeds are taken to a greenhouse at Mt. Hood, where they will be propagated into new plants that can be returned to their original habitat. Students involved in the project will keep records to help them determine the effectiveness of their methods. Those same students might also gain additional work experience in the campus vegetable garden, which, some hope, will evolve into a student-run business.

Gunsmithing Program Iowa Valley Community College Gets Boost

The gunsmithing program at Iowa Valley Community College recently received a $75,000 boost thanks to Brownells' generosity. The large firearms supplier recently presented a large check to the school, which will be used to purchase machinery and equipment, according to AmmoLand. The gunsmithing program will offer students technical training to prepare them for careers in manufacturing and repairing firearms and firearm accessories.

Brownells is a family-run business based in Iowa that has become the world's largest supplier of firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition. With their headquarters not far from the Iowa Valley Community College Campus, students graduating from the program may also find employment opportunities

New Jet Coming to Everett Community College

The Aviation Maintenance Technician School at Everett Community College is about to receive a gift of monumental proportions from Federal Express. The company is donating a 727 freighter to the school, which will provide students with hands-on training on large aircraft. According to Aviation Pros, the jet will be the first chance for students to learn about this aircraft type outside of textbooks and classroom lectures.

The season of giving is upon community colleges nationwide. Some schools are busy giving their time, talent, and resources, while others are enjoying the generosity of others. The season is sure to benefit surrounding communities and the students returning to community college campuses this fall.

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