Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, which has campuses in Hudson and Boone, has continued the Mini-Grant Project that was launched during the 2018-2019 academic year. In fall 2019, the project allocated $20,000 from academic support dollars raised by the Foundation of CCC&TI to fund innovative ideas pitched by faculty and staff.

In its second year, the mini-grant project has encouraged innovation and creativity.

“Proposals have become more competitive this year,” noted CCC&TI President Mark Poarch. “I am proud of the extra efforts our employees have taken to enhance the quality of our programs and support areas.” In total, 24 proposals were submitted and 16 projects were selected to receive funding. “I am inspired by the heart and passion of our faculty and staff in going above and beyond to ensure student success and quality community outreach,” said Poarch, who implemented the program through foundation funds. “Employees submitted more than $53,000 in proposals this year, so it was very difficult to narrow down finalists.”

Following are the recipients of this year’s grants awarded to projects in Watauga County.

Cobra Community Connections

Admissions representatives Tamara Watkins and Holly Freeman requested mini-grant funds for a project focused on updating recruiting and admissions materials. The goal of the project is to create CCC&TI-branded admissions packets and print materials that are more modern, eye-catching and recognizable so that both current and future students will have a better understanding of what CCC&TI has to offer.

“Cobra Community Connections will help create deeper connections in the Caldwell and Watauga communities by increasing CCC&TI’s visibility and allowing us to share the stories of our students and the lives we change on a daily basis,” said Watkins. “In addition to reaching a larger number of potential students, we hope to instill a greater sense of Cobra pride among our current students and alumni.”

Water Filling Stations

Watauga campus SGA Coordinator Diane Mazza requested funding for a water filling station on the Watauga campus in an effort to reduce waste and plastic consumption. With the funding, two water filling stations were installed on the Watauga campus, encouraging students to be more environmentally conscious, as well as provide a more sanitary means of water consumption. The stations also come equipped with a counter that calculates how many water bottles are being saved by using refillable containers at the station.

“I have had great feedback from faculty, staff and students. Everyone seems excited about them. In just the first week after installing the stations, one clicker alone showed we saved 90 water bottles from landfills,” said Mazza. “When we multiply that by a year I can confidently state that CCC&TI is making great efforts to become more environmentally friendly and leave less of a negative footprint behind.”

Acts of Academics

Watauga Campus Writing Center Coordinator Martin Moore requested mini-grant funding to support the expansion of the popular Grab-n-Go Workshop series to the Watauga campus. The Watauga Academic Support Center plans to begin implementing workshops and learning-based activities similar to the successful events that have been implemented over the past few years on the Caldwell Campus during the spring 2020 semester.

The workshops will help to promote engagement among Watauga faculty, staff and students, and to foster a more efficient and helpful academic environment for students.

Watauga Campus Open House

Watauga Campus Student Services Director Kim Van Wie requested mini-grant funds in support of an open house event in the new Watauga Campus Student Services building.

The event will showcase programs and facilities to the community and prospective students, as well as an opportunity to show off the new state-of-the-art facility. The event also will provide an opportunity for current students to meet with faculty and staff and engage in helpful, productive dialogue.

Early Childhood Practicum Enhancement Project

Early Childhood Program Director Mandy White and Early Childhood Program Instructor Linda Albritton requested funds for an Early Childhood Practicum Enhancement Project. Through the project, Early Childhood Education students will get the opportunity to visit renowned early childhood centers such as Lucy Brock Child Development Center in Boone.

The opportunity will allow CCC&TI students to visit and observe a quality learning environment, as well as the opportunity to meet and network with important individuals in their field. In addition, the grant also will provide a small stipend to each student to use at a local teacher supply store to help fund expenses for their first classroom.

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