The Season of Giving for Community Colleges

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 faculty from the school recently met with area vets to brainstorm ways the school could 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 military community that will lead to increased educational and career success for vets who call the Islands home.

St. Louis Community College Cleans Up the Neighborhood

Students from St. Louis Community College 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 along 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 taking part in maintaining the natural habitats of the state. The Oregonian reports that the program based out of the community college recruits young people who need a fresh start into the business of community service. At the same time, they learn about the native plants, shrubs and trees of the state, and how to conserve the vegetation to preserve the state’s natural habitats.

The program is part of a larger organization known as Project YESS (Youth Employability Support Services). Project YESS uses native seed conservation work to reach at-risk teens and young adults that 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 have plans to enroll at Mt. Hood Community College to pursue fields of study that will help them land good jobs in their 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 how effective their methods are. Those same students might also gain additional work experience in the campus vegetable garden that some hope will evolve into a student-run business.

Gunsmithing Program Iowa Valley Community College Gets Boost

The gunsmithing program offered at Iowa Valley Community College recently got a $75,000 boost, thanks to the generosity of Brownells. The large firearms supplier recently presented the 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 repair of firearms and firearm accessories.

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

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 that 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 type of aircraft outside of textbooks and classroom lectures.

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

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