Columbia State Community College has received a $200,000 grant from Tennessee Board of Regents to support the Middle College Mechatronics program for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Fairview High’s Mechatronics program and its partnership with Columbia State Community College allows students to earn dual credit and dual enrollment in college courses.
The program allows students to obtain college-level instruction while in high school, the chance to earn a certificate or associate degree, and giving them a jumpstart into the workforce or building blocks toward a four-year college degree.
While expanding career and technical education opportunities, Mechatronics teaches the engineering design process by combining several engineering fields including mechanical, electrical, and telecommunications. The students can take courses in industrial technology or engineering technology.
The pilot program for Mechatronics debuted at Fairview High under then-Governor Bill Haslam, who wrote into his budget $285,000 to fund the student fees and classes at Columbia State.
This mechatronics program serves five area high schools including Fairview High School with more than 70 students expected to participate this year. This funding will also contribute to the expansion of the program to Lawrence County High School this academic year.
Additionally, the college received three separate grant awards totaling $148,000 from the TBR’s Student Engagement, Retention, and Success (SERS) grant program.
These grant awards include College Majors Lead to High Paying Careers for Underrepresented Minorities, College-Going Mentor Program, and Radiologic Tech/EMS Study Abroad.
SERS grants fund new or existing campus services or programs that target underserved student populations including, but not limited to, students of color, low income students, adults, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and traditionally underrepresented gender by discipline/CTE program.
Programs close gaps in retention, graduation, or other metrics; have the potential to significantly increase and/or impact access levels or further equity/diversity initiatives at the institution; or produce outcomes that relate to the goals of the campus's strategic plan.
Finally, the Columbia State Community College Foundation has received an Arts Build Communities grant award from the Tennessee Arts Commission for $3,170. The Foundation will use this funding to support an upcoming exhibit, African American Art – The Artists and Their Work, at our Pryor Art Gallery in Columbia. This exhibit will feature local and regional artists. Funding will also be utilized for the commission and purchase of art pieces to enhance the Pryor Art Gallery permanent collection.