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 of six PCC Foundation mini-grants, supporting student retention for the academic year 2013/14.

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.

The PCC Staff and Organizational Development office received eleven mini-grant proposals, which were read and evaluated by PCC Foundation Board members, faculty and staff. The selection committee selected the following six projects for funding totaling $7,857.

Typingclub.com Licenses – $352

Coordinator: Laurel Spillum and Nerva Pfund

The school version of Typcingclub.com will be used to provide students with free access to keyboarding skill building lessons with the added advantage of a facilitator who would monitor student progress and create more accountability for regular practice with the program The use of this software will increase and promote student retention because students who cannot type have great difficulty completing assignments and developing confidence about their abilities to succeed in college. If they develop keyboarding skills, they are more likely to persist.

The Passage to Higher Education’s “Katalyst for Change: Finding my Red Rubber Ball Project” – $1,000

Coordinator: Noni Causey

Providing solutions to the issue of low retention and completion rates among African-American students is a part of the mission of The Passage program and fostering an environment of familiarity and belonging is what will help create success for these students. In undertaking the “Katalyst for Change: Finding by Red Rubber Ball Project,” the Passage program will offer a series of workshops over eight weeks designed around the seven principles for success put forth by internationally renowned public speaker Kevin Carroll Katalyst. The seven principles include: Commit to It; Seek out Encouragers; Work out Your Creative Muscle; Prepare to Shine; Speak Up; Expect the Unexpected; and Maximize the Day. The workshops will emphasize academic responsibility, social capital, self-efficacy, identity, and life development. Students will develop and use individual actions plans/academic road maps to insure retention and successful college completion.

Development of a Cohort Model to Increase Retention for the Graphic Design Program – $1,061

Coordinator: Cece Cutsforth

Supports staff time to chart the course and develop the strategies and materials needed to revise the structure of the Graphic Design program’s into highly supportive student cohort model in which student learning is more cohesive and predictable. A controlled application and entry, under a cohort model, will move students through their educational path with consistent guidance. An application process will help identify the “career path” students from the “casual, one or two course” students. Program prerequisites will ensure students are aware of and ready for the rigorous professional expectations in both the classroom and field. A cohort structure will encourage retention because support is two-fold: formal support from faculty, staff and advisors, and informal support from the relationships with peers.

A Framework for Teaching and the Development of a New Faculty Orientation for the Math, Aviation & Industrial Technology (MAIT) Division – $1,445

Coordinator: Erin Fivecoat

Currently there is no thorough orientation to teaching for new part time faculty. The MAIT Division will utilize Charlotte Danielson’s Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching to develop and implement a new teacher orientation and correlating evaluation. The orientation will give new teachers a foundation in pedagogy and coherent instructional design; the learning process; classroom management and establishing a culture of learning; formative assessments and instruction outcomes; and professional responsibilities and resources. The goals are to better prepare faculty who are new to teaching and improve the quality of instruction which then results in a better experience for students. Grant funds will support the purchase of textbooks and materials for this project.

Fitness Technology Software for Student Learning and Retention – $1,999

Coordinators: Mike Guthrie and Mike Boggs

The Fitness Technology Program has grown significantly over the past several years and the industry is becoming increasingly reliant on specific software. Community partners, including the program’s Advisory Committee and internship sites have also requested that PCC students become educated on current fitness software. Currently, students are not able to experience the necessary technology in the program. In a program survey only 39% of students strongly agreed that the type of equipment available was adequate and only 12% agreed that fit tech labs have enough space and equipment. To increase student satisfaction and graduation rates, (which approximates 25%) the program needs to provide students with increased access to fitness testing and programming resources as this helps to improve students’ knowledge, skills, abilities and marketability. Funding from this grant will support the purchase of fitness testing and programming software for the Fitness Technology Laboratories at PCC.

Applied Math Video for Architecture Design & Drafting / Interior Design – $2,000

Coordinator: Arlene McCashew

In an effort to increase student retention by helping students to understand and apply required math calculations within the context of their chosen field, the Architecture Design & Drafting/Interior Design Program will use grant funds to create two instructional videos that apply various basic math concepts in an industry specific context. The project supports student retention as it gives students access to an alternative instructional method when they need it and as often as they need, and the videos will apply math concepts in a way that is relevant and meaningful to students in the context of their field. Math proficiency is necessary in a program where knowledge and skill areas are culminating with each subsequent course and in an industry where students must perform calculations quickly and accurately.