2-19-2020 – Grant money keeps rolling

Posted on: February 19th, 2020 by admin


February 19, 2020


By Garrett Stell

Feb 18, 2020 1:56 PM



Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute announced Monday that it has received another $200,000 in grant funding for two projects.


Each grant was worth $100,000.


One awarded by the Appalachian Regional Commission will pay for 12 new machines that will allow manufacturing students in the new Paul H. Broyhill Center for Advanced Technologies to receive training on the types of equipment being used in modern factories. The equipment includes lathes, surface grinders and a CNC turning center, a highly-versatile machine used in the furniture and general manufacturing industries.


Randy Ledford, vice president of instruction at CCC&TI, said that he hopes the equipment can last up to 10 years with proper maintenance and upkeep.


A grant awarded by the Tides Foundation, a philanthropic group with offices in San Francisco and New York, and funded through Google Data Centers Grants will fund a project called Caldwell Opportunities Now a Network of eLearning through Connection Technologies (CONNECT), which President Dr. Mark Poarch said will allow the college to broadcast classes from the Hudson campus to students at the county’s three traditional high schools around the county.


“This allows us to have a faculty member teaching a class here in Hudson and project that class to all three traditional high schools,” he said. “This gives us a way to reach students who maybe can’t drive to campus here but still want to take college classes that are available to them.”


He said that there are no specific courses in mind yet but that the technology lends itself easily to courses such as English, psychology and history that are lecture- and discussion-focused.


Poarch said he also hopes the technology can be used by the Caldwell County School system to connect classrooms at different schools and expand course options for students who have transportation limitations.


In other business, the college released its official enrollment report for the spring semester, confirming an increase of 152 students over last year’s spring semester numbers. This means that CCC&TI’s enrollment has increased in six of the past seven semesters. The only semester in that group that failed to see an increase was last spring, but the dropoff was only three students, and Dena Holman, vice president and Title IX coordinator, said that the difference was made up just a few days after the official numbers were reported.


Of the 3,465 students currently enrolled, more than 1,300 are high school students, Poarch said, which makes the Google grant and innovations such as the virtual classrooms an important service for expanding the college’s reach and continuing to grow enrollment.


Reporter Garrett Stell can be reached at 828-610-8723.

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