SCC and SFCC recently received a total of $345,496 in Professional/Technical Program Restart grants from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act through the Washington State Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) program.
Administered by SBCTC, the purpose of these grants is to support the reestablishment of professional and technical programs that were disrupted due to COVID-19 and to provide alternative and innovative methods of ensuring that career pathways are available to aid economic recovery in Washington State.
Spokane Community College will use the funding to support its Ironworkers Apprenticeship and the Industrial & Manufacturing Technology Certificate programs. The pandemic, low enrollments, and tightening budgets resulted in the postponement of SCC’s Industrial and Manufacturing Technology Certificate program in Colville before fall quarter. The grant will help support local industry connections, revise curriculum for COVID-19 safety compliance, and continue recruitment. Additionally, supplies needed to operate the welding and machine shop will be purchased. The grant will help return the Ironworkers Apprenticeship program to full operational capacity.
SFCC will use the funding to support the Cyber and Information Systems Technology BAS, the Information Technology AAS, and the Interpreter Training programs. Given the labor market projections and a shift to increased online modality course offerings in reaction to the pandemic, the Cyber program needs an additional hardware and software package to enhance its capacity to reach students living and working in rural areas, particularly those impacted by the pandemic. With the grant SFCC’s Information Technology AAS program will be able to expand regional, state and national collaborations and transform existing AAS-IT courses into online courses with a competency-based delivery model.
The SFCC Interpreter Training Program has been awarded a large portion of the grant. COVID-19 adversely affected the Interpreter’s for the D/Deaf, because all occasions that had been interpreted in-person were quickly transferred to online venues. The Interpreter Training Program (ITP), a fully online and on-ground program serving students across the country and the only one in the state of Washington will use the funds awarded to fully incorporate this new online venue/experience of interpreting. The plans include curriculum changes, equipment updates, faculty trainings that will include interpreting topics, equipment usage and technology, that will improve student preparation as they enter the workforce. Our students, upon graduation and entrance into the workforce, become integral partners in the education setting of our nation’s K-12 D/deaf student population working alongside the school faculty and staff. This grant will allow the Interpreter Training Program to focus on the common goal of creating well-educated Interpreters for the D/deaf children.