KCC Students Write, Are Awarded OCF Grant

12/6/2012 12:00:00 AM
What began as an assignment in a summer grant writing course has turned into a $20,000 Oregon Community Foundation grant for Klamath Community College.
KCC Students Write, Are Awarded OCF Grant
What began as an assignment in a summer grant writing course has turned into a $20,000 Oregon Community Foundation grant for Klamath Community College. Dean Dier, the KCC student who was the lead narrative writer on the grant, was on hand in Lakeview Wednesday to receive the award from OCF officials.

The funding is being made available from the Fred W. Fields Fund, and will help provide a pathway to college for high school students in Klamath County by partially funding a position to administer KCC’s new Advanced Diploma program. The program is a partnership between KCC and the Klamath County and Klamath Falls City School Districts that gives qualifying high school seniors the opportunity to attend one year of classes at KCC at no cost to the student.

The class was offered at KCC for the first time during summer term. “The class is designed for students to have an applied writing the process,” according to Jo Cochran, department chair for Arts and Communication. “The best way to learn about grant writing is to write a grant,” she added. Cochran, who worked previously as a grant writer and grant consultant has dealt with OCF grants in the past. “My first thought after seeing the finished product was ‘this could succeed,’” she said. “The students did a great job of presenting their case clearly and concisely with statistics incorporated throughout to help make their point. Any committee would be compelled to fund a grant that is presented in such fashion.”

In addition to Dier, students Krystal Atkinson, Michael Shatto and Shantana Wright also worked on the grant.

“This illustrates the importance of contextualizing the curriculum,” said KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez. “It’s one thing to teach students the skills needed to write a grant, but quite another to go through the process of actually writing one. This is not only a great experience for the students, but a very marketable skill in the job market as well,” he said.

Officials with the Oregon Community Foundation agree. “The fact that the successful grant application was written by a group of KCC students demonstrates KCC’s ability to connect classroom learning to real-world skills and employment,” said OCF Program Officer Amy Cuddy. “The Oregon Community Foundation is pleased to be able to help Klamath Community College engage more high school students in pursuing higher education. This grant is among the first from the Fred W. Fields Fund, which supports exemplary arts and education programs throughout Oregon, and is a recognition of KCC’s history of good work,” she added.

Cochran believes the grant writing class can eventually expand to be of even greater benefit to the entire community. “The class is open to the public,” she said. “We’d like to see individuals from organizations throughout the community take advantage of the opportunity. We believe we can help develop grant writers for organizations throughout our service district.”

Nearly $75,000 in grants were awarded during the event Wednesday afternoon in Lakeview, with the $20,000 received by KCC being the largest single award. Other awardees included Oregon Institute of Technology, St. Maurus Mission Appeal, Klamath Lake Regional Housing Center, Lakeview Disaster Unit Inc., Paisley Public Charter School, Friends of the Children of the Klamath Basin, Lake County Library District and the Ross Ragland Theater.