Berkshire Community College Recieves $88K for Investment in STEM Education

Sep 26, 2012

The 15 community colleges in Massachusetts have received $4 million in grant money to increase skill training and support job creation in the Commonwealth. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more…

The grants were announced yesterday by Governor Deval Patrick are through the state’s Performance Incentive Fund, which is part of the administration’s pledge to strengthen the state’s public education system via the Vision Project. Education Secretary Paul Reville.

Last week, the Vision Project released its first annual report demonstrating the need for more investment in public colleges, the need for increased college preparedness among high schoolers, and the need to close the skills gap in the labor market.

Secretary Reville says that a total of 7.5 million dollars will be awarded between the UMass system, public colleges, and community colleges within the next year.

Berkshire Community College received $88,000 towards investment in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Grantwriter Gina Stec…

Stec says that this was the second round of funding Berkshire Community College has received through the Performance Incentive Fund. Last year, the school received an initial grant of $138,000, and that was followed up with an additional $86,000. She says that this year the award money will go towards new initiatives including a service-learning program, and curriculum development for mathematics, and enhancing student advising.

According to a press release, 2.9 million is funding new educational initiatives at community colleges across the state, $500,000 is being used to help continue projects started last year, and $400,000 will be used to develop a system to allow for credit transferability between schools.

Governor Deval Patrick made a pledge in his FY 2013 budget proposal to unite the state’s community colleges, a move that was controversial among many legislators and community college presidents. The state legislature eventually approved of a system that would determine state funding for community colleges based on performance.

$1 million will be used later this year to further bolster credit transferability efforts.

Gina Stec thanked the Patrick administration for the work to improve student success at community colleges.

The awards are listed as follows:

·         Berkshire Community College - $88,000 to accelerate college readiness and developmental math pathways; and enhance student advising and civic engagement programming.

·         Bristol Community College - $299,994 to address college readiness, improve developmental education and increase student retention.

·         Bunker Hill Community College - $203,000 to focus on college going rates, career pathways and civic engagement.

·         Cape Cod Community College - $137,211 to enhance college readiness in the Cape Cod area and to retain increasing numbers of students at the college.

·         Greenfield Community College - $179,310 to expand a hybrid learning model of online learning combined with onsite learning.

·         Holyoke Community College - $167,883 to support the college’s Gateway to College Prep program, help increase graduation and student success rates, support ongoing work to develop student learning assessments and increase civic engagement among its students.

·         MassBay Community College - $300,000 to enhance the first year experience for MassBay students, positively impacting student retention.

·         Massasoit Community College - $215,000 for a new civic engagement initiative, enhanced student success activities and more focused work force training.

·         Middlesex Community College - $251,000 to enhance tutoring for at risk students and to increase work force alignment activity.

·         Mt. Wachusett Community College - $272,000 to increase college readiness and ultimate attendance rates, improvement of student success at the College and a new commitment to civic engagement activity.

·         North Shore Community College - $174,356 to develop a virtual career center that  complements the career mapping project funded with performance improvement  funds last year.

·         Northern Essex Community College - $146,744 to support advanced activity related to student learning and student learning assessment.

·         Quinsigamond Community College - $136,481 for an initiative called “shorten the distance” that supports both student’s readiness for college and student success at the College once admitted.

·         Roxbury Community College - $35,517 to focus on the college’s nursing assistant program and enhance the English collaborative with UMass Boston.

·         Springfield Technical Community College - $291,058 for expanding important student learning assessment activity.