Tips for surviving cutbacks in the community colleges

Lisa Chaddock, a part-time geography instructor in San Diego, offered part-timers survival tips in a workshop titled “Finding Funds to Survive Community College Cutbacks,” at the annual CFT Convention. The following are some highlights from Chaddock’s presentation about applying for grants to protect programs and supplement part-timer income.

  • First, check with your department chair or dean about grant application processes at your campus. There may be a grant-writing group or committee with whom you must work. Find out the steps before you invest time and energy writing an application.
  • Look for a grant that will fit your college. Especially if your college is small, you will not qualify for a large grant. Look for other area colleges to collaborate with.
  • The Department of Education may offer grants for which your college might qualify. Other government agencies give block grants to colleges (Title V, for example) so that many small amounts of funding are shared across one campus. Check with your department and division leaders to see if your campus is already receiving any state grants for which you can apply.
  • Attend conferences hosted by the granting organization to better understand its sensibilities and priorities. Look at the proposals previously granted to learn what the organization has funded recently. Talk to others who have received that grant.
  • Thoroughly research grant requirements, making sure that your institution and the people who would work with the grant money truly qualify for it.
  • Assemble your team: colleagues who would be committed to appropriate, accountable use of the grant money.
  • Formulate the idea for your project and then think creatively. Create a book of poetry with you as editor and students as writers. Create a campus piece of public art while teaching students about grant funding and art licensing.
  • Maybe a nearby national or state park, or local industry, would like your campus to run a special training that requires curriculum development or instruction.

Whatever your specialty, there is a way to turn it into a program that can be funded.