College News

CCCC grant writers score big

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SANFORD - Central Carolina Community College grant writers havernachieved the automotive equivalent of going zero to 60 mph in a fewrnseconds.

Just 19 months ago, the collegernhad no system in place to seek funding from the many grants availablernfrom foundations, corporations, endowments, government and otherrnsources. Any grants received were the result of individuals orrndepartments seeking them on their own, but the percentage of requestedrnversus received was small.

Things havernchanged dramatically since then. As of July 30, approximately $798,000rnin grants has been received. Of that, $250,000 was awarded to LeernCounty Public Health for the new Central Carolina Dental Center, arnjoint project of CCCC and Public Health.

Garrettrncredits the increase in grants received to the college’s new two-personrnGrants Office. Jon Bachelder was hired in January 2005 as the college’srnLee County Campus evening campus director and grant researcher/writer.rnHe was previously executive director for the Red Cross of WestrnMichigan.

HollyAnn Rogers, who has arndegree in non-profit management, joined the office in May 2005 asrnco-grant writer and grant coordinator. She was previously director ofrnCommunities in Schools of Lee County. As coordinator, she keeps trackrnof how each grant is spent, making certain that the spending meets thernstrict criteria of the grantor.

Up throughrnJune 30, the pair submitted 19 proposals to 15 funding sources for ninernprojects at seven of the college’s campuses or centers. So far, 11rngrants for six projects have been awarded. That’s a .526 battingrnaverage.

“For us to start out and get thisrnmuch in our first year was unusual,” said Bachelder. “I believe we’rernsuccessful because we’ve developed a thoughtful and effective processrnfor generating proposals.”

Rogersrndescribed the Grants Office’s grant-seeking philosophy in sports terms.rnShe said that it is “a team sport, a contact sport and a sport thatrnrequires a well-thought-out game plan.”

Garrettrnand John Slade, vice president for instruction, prioritize requestsrnreceived from administrators, faculty and staff for projects andrnprograms for which grant funding may be available. They pass the listrnon the Grants Office and Rogers and Bachelder do the research to findrnand make application to possible grant sources. Grants have beenrnreceived for a variety of needs, from child care subsidies for singlernmothers so they can attend college to the college’s newest programs,rndental assisting and dental hygiene.

Thern“contact” part of successful grant writing involves buildingrnrelationships with grant sources and enabling them to become familiarrnwith the college and what it offers, Rogers said.

Havingrna “game plan” means staying focused on the college’s mission andrnfinding grants that fit it. The college’s Mission Statement says it isrnto understand and meet the educational needs of and serve as a positiverneconomic, social and cultural catalyst in the diverse communities ofrnits Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties service area.

“I’m really excited about what we’re accomplishing,” Rogers said.

Shernattributed the great success in the short time they have been writingrngrants to having a “dream project” to offer grant sources: the CentralrnCarolina Dental Center. The center is located in the W.B. Wicker Schoolrnbuilding in Sanford, a historic black school which has been renovatedrnas part of over-all community development by Brick Capital CommunityrnDevelopment Corp. in Sanford.

The DentalrnCenter is a collaborative effort of the college and Lee County PublicrnHealth. Between them, they received a total of $575,000 in grants fromrnseveral sources. Public Health opened its dental services program therernin July. It was previously providing about 2,000 oral health servicesrnfor children annually. That is expected to increase to about 5,000rnservices for clients, regardless of age, health or county of residence.rn

CCCC will start its dental assisting andrndental hygienist programs at the Center in the spring. The studentsrnwill assist in serving the Public Health clients while gaining workrnexperience.

“Having the grant funding wasrnthe difference between being able to offer the dental educationrnprograms and not offering them,” Garrett said.

Grant funds will continue to be important in helping CCCC fund its programs.

“Withrnstate and county budgets not able to keep up with the needs, we’ve gotrnto go after private funding,” Garrett said. “I can’t express howrnimportant it is.”