By Alan Sorensen
ROCKY BOY Stone Child College is one of three Montana tribal community colleges sharing in more than $1 million of U.S. Department of Education grants announced last Thursday by Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont.
SCC will receive $363,577 to use for technical support and to improve its long-term fiscal stability.
We just received our grant notification today, Ed Stamper, SCC foundations and research director, said Tuesday afternoon. The grant basically is broken into four sections.
A portion of it will go towards upgrading our computers in our business office, registration/admissions, and financial aid to make everything Y2K compliant.
Stamper said a portion will be used for assessment of the entire college and the development of a 4-year plan by the end of year one. Another 5-year plan will be developed by the end of year five.
That will give the college a long-range plan all the way into the year 2009, Stamper said.
Another portion of the grant will be used to upgrade staff skills. This will allow several staff who currently have associate degrees to obtain baccalaureate degrees and those with baccalaureate to obtain masters degrees, he said.
Last but not least, Stamper said, is the endowment portion of the Title III. Endowment funds will be placed in interest-bearing accounts and only the interest will be spent.
We have to come up with $35,000 non-government matching dollars and Title III will match us for year, one dollar for dollar, up to $35,000, he said. That means well have to do a lot of fund-raising throughout the year.
If the endowment program is approved for each of the five years, the amount to be matched will be increased each year. The maximum federal match over the life of the grant would be $314,000, Stamper said.
The grant is funded for five years pending Congressional appropriations yearly. If funding is available the entire 5-year period, SCC will receive a total of $1,797,151.
The Title III grant will provide SCC with the opportunity to address issues of great importance, Stone Child President Steve Galbavy said. The need to meet accreditation standards is also being achieved with help of the Title III grant.
Little Big Horn College at Crow Reservation will receive $339,017 the first year to enhance student retention, to facilitate its switch from quarters to semesters, and to improve telecommunications access in its library.
Blackfeet Community College at Browning will receive $395,000 the first year to improve telecommunications and Internet connections, provide student and staff technology training, and improve student retention.