When one thinks of the Terra College Foundation, they may imagine fundraising events and the awarding of scholarships from the funds raised at those events.  Yes, the Foundation raises many funds for scholarships, but it also doing much behind the scene to enhance the education of students and their learning environment.  Jack Fatica, Terra College Foundation Development Coordinator, has been working diligently this past year on applying for grants to make this happen.

According to Fatica, the Foundation is currently working on two big grants.  The Ohio Department of Higher Education has $5 million available to colleges through the Ohio Innovation Grant.  The purpose of these grants is academic achievement and economic efficiency. The goal is to help students complete a degree and to do so in a way that lowers their cost of education.

For the first grant, the Foundation worked with the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science (CCMS) on the application.  The Collaborative Online Associate Degree with a Pre-Mortuary Pathway will benefit both students and the institutions.  While Terra Sate Community College has an advanced network in place, CCMS is lacking in this area.  The grant would provide funds to implement technology on the CCMS campus and additional IT services from the college’s partnership with the University of Toledo.  In the end, better distance learning technology will be in place for a better online experience for students seeking a career in the death care profession.  The grant funds would also be used to hire an advisor/recruiter to assist both colleges and to market the pathway.

The second grant is Expanding Methods of Delivering Higher Education.  This grant would also work with the University of Toledo in implementing different avenues to deliver instruction.  Virtual classrooms, computer labs and desktops would be created allowing students to actively participate in classes.  Fatica says this would allow for another form of distance learning.  “A subject, like Japanese, may not generate enough student interest at Terra State to offer a class.  However, say Toledo offers a Japanese class.  Terra State students can take and participate in that class while still physically on Terra State’s campus.”

Fatica notes that the two projects the grants would fund is nearly $2 million.  The grants are seeking $1.45 million.  “Even if we do not receive the full amount requested, a portion of the projects will be funded, which is a huge benefit.”  The Foundation is waiting patiently for notification on their submissions.

The Foundation is also waiting to hear back on the status of two smaller grants.  The Financial Literacy Grant through the Ohio Department of Commerce to assist in providing workshops and materials for Terra State staff and partners on financial skills.  The second is a Summer School Enrollment Grant through MDRC.  This grant would provide funds to create targeted messaging to increase summer enrollment in 2018.

The Terra College Foundation is constantly looking to secure funds through every available avenue.  Be it through fundraising events like Cookin’ Men or grant applications, the Foundation is working hard for everyone at Terra State – students, faculty and staff.