ACC receives $1.7 million grant to aid student financial literacy

grantdev-banner2The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Austin Community College $1.7 million to develop programs to help students understand smart money management and college financing.

The grant, “Achieving Student Success through Financial Aid Education and Financial Literacy,” will fund initiatives to teach students about money management and help the ACC community understand the connection between students’ academic and financial goals.

Planned activities include text message alerts about financial aid requirements and deadlines, enhancements to the Degree Map online tool to provide personalized real-time financial aid information, outreach and awareness campaigns for students, and professional development for faculty and staff. ACC will create an Office of Student Money Management to oversee services and programs.

Other grants

The DOE grant is just one of several grants ACC is using to provide opportunities for students and help develop the local workforce.

Dr. Mary Harris, associate vice president of institutional planning, development, and evaluation, said the college will benefit from about $18 million in grant funding for the current academic year, an amount that has steadily increased over the past three years.

“We’re seeing some state funding opportunities that we’ve not previously had, which has been good for the college,” she says. “Areas like Biotechnology and Continuing Education have persistently pursued outside funding to support their programs. Our grants development staff have been right there helping them — and others — identify and apply for opportunities.”

Below is a list of grants and the faculty and staff responsible for overseeing or administering them. Visit the Grant Development & Compliance website to learn about applying for grants and managing grant awards.

Federal grants

National Science Foundation AC2 Bio-Link Regional Advanced Technological Education Center ($2,979,962)
Dr. Linnea Fletcher, biotechnology department chair; Dr. Kathy Walton, grants compliance officer

Funds a regional center to train biotechnology technicians.

Gallaudet University and ACC Regional Center grant ($103,000)
Joann Benfield, interim director, Southwest GERC; Susannah Erler, resource development officer; Ursula Pike, resource development officer

Funds support services for Deaf and hard of hearing people. ACC operates the center for the southwest region, offering training programs, conference seminars, and extension courses to eligible participants.

Department of Education Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant ($519,004)
Dr. Stacey Shackelford, child care and development department chair; David Pinter, resource development officer

Provides subsidized childcare at the ACC Children’s Lab School for children of ACC students, who also attend financial aid literacy workshops and participate in ACC support programs.

Depart of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants program ($446,683)
Dr. Linnea Fletcher; Dr. Mary Harris

Helps displaced workers obtain credentials (academic or professional) for entry-level biosciences jobs related to medical devices, bio-manufacturing, and laboratory services.

Two additional TAACCCT grants support competency-based learning programs for health science and information technology careers.

    • Bioscience-Health ($2,000,120)

Dr. Alice Sessions, director, NOVA DOL Grant; Susannah Erler; Ursula Pike

    • Information Technology ($2,052,205)

Linda Smarzik, dean of computer studies and advanced technology; David Pinter

State Grants

Office of the Governor, Emerging Technology Fund ($4,900,000)
Dr. Linnea Fletcher; Dr. Tyler Drake, director, Biosciences Credentials Consortium; Dr. Kathy Walton

Establishes a biotechnology commercialization wet lab at Highland Campus (the first certified space built by a community college and the only one in Central Texas).

THECB Nursing Innovation grant ($150,000)
Dr. Patricia Recek, executive dean of health sciences; Rachel McElroy, resource development officer

Funds equipment and training to support clinical training for ACC’s Associate Degree Nursing program.

Wagner Peyser – Educating the Changing Texas Biotechnology Workforce grant ($649,994)
Dr. Linnea Fletcher; Ursula Pike

Establishes the AC2 Institute at ACC to meet the workforce needs of the bioscience industry.

The Capital Area Council of Governments – Regional Solid Waste grant ($22,058)
Andy Kim, director of energy & sustainability

Provides recycling bins at Riverside Campus, resulting in 27. 5 tons of waste being diverted from the landfill yearly when paired with food service composting.

Texas Workforce Commission, 2014-2015 Texas Adult Education and Literacy Programs ($2,152,070)
David Borden, executive director of Adult Education; Ursula Pike

Funds Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, GED, ESL, EL-Civics, and College and Career Transitions programs throughout Travis County.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Perkins State Leadership grant ($144,394)
Linda Smarzik; Dr. Kathy Walton

Supports the development of competency-based education (CBE) for Computers and Information Technology programs.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Perkins Basic grant ($842,397)
Steven Christopher, executive director of special populations

Funds equipment and related activities for students participating in Workforce Education programs.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, 2016-2017 Work Study Mentorship grant ($100,000)
Loretta Edelen, community outreach director; Dr. Kathy Walton

Work-study mentorships for students and programming to encourage area high school students to attend college in support of the 60x30TX (pdf) program promoted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

THECB Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) Challenge Scholarship Program ($368,420)
Terry Bazan, executive director of student assistance and veterans affairs; Kelly Grant, scholarship coordinator; Susannah Erler

T-STEM grants for qualified students in STEM and related degree and certificate programs.

Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development Fund/Continuing Education grants
Dr. Hector Aguilar, executive dean of continuing education; Don Tracy, director of operations & marketing for continuing education

IT Veterans Initiative ($1,097,208)
Ursula Pike
Training for 460 veterans in IT careers.

Epic Piping SDF grant ($1,715,434)
Don Tracy
Technical skills training – primarily welding – for 554 Epic Piping employees.

Small Business Training SDF grant ($20,000)
Heather Bonham, coordinator, workforce projects, continuing education
Funding to enroll small business employees in ACC classes.

TWC-Austin Community College Dual Credit program ($224,178)
Don Tracy
Funds for equipment to support the dual-credit program in Manor ISD.

VISA Skills Development Fund grant ($324,192)
Don Tracy
Technical training — primarily computer skills — for 154 VISA employees.

Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Consortium SDF grant ($2,755,352)
Don Tracy
Technical skills training for 459 employees of Samsung, TNT Systems, and Voltabox of Texas.

St. David’s Hospital Consortium SDF grant ($1,005,983)
Don Tracy
Funds for instruction and equipment to train 709 employees in a range of healthcare technical skills.

Foundation Grants

AARP Back to Work 50+: Women’s Economic Stability Initiative ($113,074)
Stacey Guney, executive director, HLC ACCelerator; Rachel McElroy

Training and services to help women over 50 find local jobs.

Michael and Alice Kuhn Foundation, ACC Leadership Week: A Bicultural Experience and First Year Seminar ($2,000)
Dr. Rachel Ruiz, Riverside Campus dean of student services; Ursula Pike

Leadership Week training for Del Valle and Travis High School graduates intending to attend ACC.

Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and Walmart ($99,900)
Dr. Louella Tate, Round Rock Campus dean of student services; Susannah Erler

Career training for veterans.

City and County Grants

Travis County—Teacher and Director TRAC Program ($46,000)
Dr. Stacey Shackelford; Dr. Kathy Walton

Funds scholarships, academic advising, and a book-loan program, and provides incentives to qualified early childhood teachers and directors in Travis County.

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