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By CCWeek Staff  /  
2015 February 4 - 05:33 am

Grants & Gifts

A summary listing of colleges and institutions receiving grants and gifts

Bickelhaupt Arboretum, in Clinton, Iowa, has been formally donated to Eastern Iowa Community Colleges. The donation included nearly $2 million in financial assets that will ensure continuation of the arboretum’s operations for many years to come. The arboretum has a rich tradition in the Clinton community. The Bickelhaupt Arboretum is a 14-acre outdoor museum of select-labeled trees, shrubs, ground covers, perennials and annuals. It was developed by Robert (Bob) and Frances Bickelhaupt in 1970 in response to the Dutch Elm Disease which destroyed the majority of large street trees in Clinton. Supervision of the arboretum was later passed to their daughter, Francie B. Hill, who continues to serve as president of its Board of Directors. The couple made many trips to a Chicago arboretum to learn how to undertake such a project and created it on their own property. Their former home is still used as the arboretum’s offices and classrooms. The property is located within the Clinton city limits, less than a mile from EICC’s Clinton Community College campus.

The Houston Community College adult education program has been awarded a $425,000 Accelerate TEXAS (ATX) grant intended to help adult learners start and complete training for new careers in a faster, more affordable way. As part of its grant activities, HCC will also be the fiscal agent and mentor for a consortium that includes Galveston and Del Mar Colleges, providing them with technical assistance in the design of the contextualized curricula and instruction al strategies. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board funds ATX and provides services at state community and technical college districts and campuses in partnership with federally-supported adult education and literacy programs funded by the Texas Workforce Commission. ATX programs help underprepared adults to more quickly complete high-demand career training programs while they are concurrently enrolled in support classes that improve their reading and math skills. Students may work toward a GED® while they are training, or they may already have high school diploma or are non-English speakers. Concurrent enrollment shortens the time it takes for students to train, so more of them wind up completing certificates and other industry-recognized credentials. To improve reading and math skills, ATX programs use contextualized curricula to make learning more relevant and engaging for students.

Instead of learning concepts based in the abstract, students training to be welders for instance, read about welding, write about welding, and use math to solve welding related problems.

Professor Steven Gillette received an impressive gift for the Mechatronics Program at Sierra College. (Calif.) The gift was a check for $10,000 from Inductive Automation, specifically donated to support the implementation of supervisory control and data acquisition software in the mechatronics program. Inductive Automation is a developer of automation control software serving large industrial processes such as oil and gas refineries, water treatment and power generation facilities. Gillette was originally contacted by Cynthia Gallegos, a human resources assistant, regarding the company’s participation in the Career and Technical Education job fair held at the Sierra College Rocklin Campus last semester. Gallegos’s enthusiasm to participate in the job fair piqued Gillette’s interest and he made a point to visit the Inductive Automation booth, and later attended a company presentation at their corporate headquarters in Folsom, Calif. While there, Gillette met with Carl Gould, codirector of software engineering, to inquire about the employment potential for Sierra College graduates with Inductive Automation.

He also suggested a collaboration to train automation technicians. Gillette noted that the training system would require upgraded programmable logic controllers costing about $8,000 in order to communicate with Inductive’s software. Inductive was excited about the possibility of introducing their advanced automation controls system to mechatronics students, and offered to donate an academic software license valued at $15,000 for the program’s use in the classroom.

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