PCC Foundation Mini-Grant Winners

The PCC Foundation, in partnership with PCC’s Office of Professional and Organizational Development, is pleased to announce the award winners for PCC Foundation mini-grants, supporting PCC student retention.

PCC Foundation mini-grants give financial support to faculty and staff projects that improve the quality of instruction, programs, and services at PCC. The mini-grant program is supported by the PCC Foundation with funds raised through the annual Faculty/Staff/Retiree Campaign and through general Foundation fundraising.

Sisters in Strength Group, Co-Facilitation Project – $2,500

Coordinator: Anne O’Reilly

Sisters in Strength (SIS) is a support group for PCC students who are self-identified female survivors of trauma. This is a psycho-educational group that strengthens participants’ understanding and ability to manage the stressors that trauma tends to produce. Survivors often experience great difficulty in managing trauma triggers and maintaining cognitive focus on schoolwork. In addition, an individual's history with trauma might impact self-esteem and the self-confidence needed to persist. Through a strength-based approach, SIS addresses how these stressors interfere with participants’ educational goals at PCC and strengthens the likelihood of participants’ persistence/retention at the College.

This project is a collaborative effort between the Sylvania Women’s Resource Center and the Sylvania Counseling Center. Increasing linkages between these partners builds stronger working relationships between staff members resulting in informed referrals and collaborative support of students.

Funding from this mini-grant will support expert facilitation costs for support group sessions held throughout the academic year. SIS will help improve student retention by increasing students’ ability to manage the effects of trauma, strengthening students' cognitive focus, providing community and peer support, and increasing student knowledge of school and community resources.

English for Speakers of Other Languages Lending Library Project – $2,500

Coordinator: Jill Nicholson

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) serves a very diverse population of students at PCC. Low-level ESOL students are often recent immigrants or refugees with the greatest financial need. Sometimes the only barrier standing between the student and successful completion of a course is the cost of a textbook. Free access of required texts will enable more students to remain at PCC, successfully advancing through the ESOL program and beyond.

For several years, fundraising efforts by ESOL staff and faculty has provided the ESOL Lending Library at Sylvania with required textbooks for low-level ESOL students. These books are borrowed, returned, and lent out term after term. Last year, the ESOL Lending Library offered textbooks to intermediate levels at Sylvania and low and intermediate levels at Rock Creek.

Funding from this mini-grant will enable the ESOL Lending Library to establish a core collection of required textbooks at all four PCC campuses. Providing these texts will enable the program to serve more students and increase the retention of those already enrolled.