Grants & Gifts
Bunker Hill Community College (Mass.) has received a $1.2 million grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. The funds, to be awarded over four years, will provide scholarships for full-time registered nursing students from economically or academically disadvantaged backgrounds. Of the 78 grants awarded, BHCC is the only community college and the only institution in Massachusetts to receive a grant. “We are extremely pleased that HRSA funds will help bright BHCC students achieve their goal of a career in nursing,” said BHCC President Pam Eddinger. “This funding will continue the college’s commitment to ensuring that all students have the support they need for academic success.” Since 1995, HRSA has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to BHCC. These funds have made it possible for approximately 650 students to pursue their associate degree in nursing at the college. To meet the Boston region’s intense demand for registered nurses, BHCC’s Nurse Education Program has increased enrollment by over 100 students between 2006 and 2015. Sixty-eight percent of NEP graduates in 2015 were economically or academically disadvantaged. Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students is an initiative of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which is focused on increasing diversity in the health professions. SDS’s goals include expanding graduates who practice in primary care; boosting enrollment and retention of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those from racial and ethnic minority groups; and increasing the number of graduates who work in medically underserved communities. Eligible SDS disciplines include nursing, allied and public health and behavioral and mental health.
Teche Bank & Trust Company is investing in local higher education in St. Martin Parish through a recent donation to the South Louisiana Community College Foundation. The community bank pledged $15,000 to support student scholarships, technology, and program equipment for SLCC’s new Evangeline Campus in St. Martinville. The new campus is scheduled to open for classes in August. The campus offers business, general studies, patient care technician, practical nursing, and welding programs. The new building will allow for growth in those programs, in addition to an expansion of the college’s Adult Education program to St. Martin Parish. Through technology, the new campus will also have near unlimited capacity to serve students through on-site and online course programs. The Teche Bank investment comes after SLCC representatives recently visited with local businesses for private support in light of declining state budgets and increased demand from industry. “Board Members and employees of Teche Bank are honored to join hands in a small way with SLCC in improving our community by providing training essential to competing in today’s job market,” said Elmer Landry, president of Teche Bank. The investment also comes with a naming right to the campus conference room. The room will provide highly utilized space for college and public meetings, workshops, and gatherings of students, faculty, and visitors. The SLCC Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation established in 2003 for the mission of supporting the activities of SLCC. Over the last two years, the SLCC Foundation has raised a $2.1 million match for a $17 million Health & Sciences building for the college’s Lafayette campus, more than doubled its endowment through new scholarships and professorships, increased employee giving from 1.8% to over 50%, and implemented the college’s largest-ever scholarship program.
Distance learning (DL) capabilities at Mid-Plains Community College (Neb) will be better than ever thanks to a $100,144 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The funds were awarded through the USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program as part of MPCC’s Connecting Opportunities for Rural Nebraskans project. “The USDA has been an integral partner with Mid-Plains over the past several years as we've continued to upgrade our Distance Learning Systems to provide the highest quality of services to our students throughout our 18-county service area in West Central and Southwest Nebraska,” said MPCC President Ryan Purdy. “This grant will help us to upgrade equipment in North Platte, Valentine, Ogallala and Broken Bow.” MPCC officials believe DL is a necessity for rural, isolated communities within the college’s 20,500-square-mile service area and that new and updated equipment will go a long way in creating an educated and highly-skilled workforce. Among other things, the upgrades will allow MPCC to enhance studentcentered instruction, offer a wider variety of courses at more diverse times, increase student access to classes and information links and provide career and college readiness services. Additionally, the new DL equipment is expected to positively impact the college’s retention rates both online and at each campus location. “The campus under construction in Valentine will be outfitted with new DL equipment prior to the start of classes, which is anticipated to be in 2017,” said Tim Hall, MPCC area director of information services. “Broken Bow DL equipment has been redesigned to match other, newer DL rooms in the college area.”According to Hall, the DL equipment at the Ogallala Campus will be completely replaced to improve performance and reliability. Eventually, four rooms in the Health and Science Center on NPCC’s South Campus will also be replaced to provide simpler, more reliable, state-ofthe-art, DL equipment and allow for improved technical support.