Daily News

STCC Receives $75,000 State Grant to Help Close Achievement Gaps

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) received a $75,000 state grant to increase the faculty’s core equity competencies and knowledge about racial equity, social justice, and structures that have an impact on student success.

The Massachusetts Higher Education Innovation Fund grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education will support professional development for 20 faculty members. The goal of the project is to help underserved and underrepresented students — especially students of color — succeed along their academic journey, from applying to STCC to graduation.

Mary Wiseman, director of Instructional Innovation and Faculty Investment at STCC, said the funding will help advance the college’s mission to support students as they transform their lives. “I am very excited to gather faculty, lead them in training on techniques to increase their skills, and ultimately lift the equity agenda. We want to explore how to make classrooms inclusive spaces where students feel welcomed and connected to the faculty and curriculum.”

With the funding in hand, STCC plans to recruit faculty who will join a core coaching group known as Equity Leaders & Guides who will train in equity-minded practices. At the conclusion of their work, they will share their discoveries with STCC colleagues.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Geraldine de Berly said the initiative is critically important. “We are grateful to Governor Baker and his administration for supporting our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. This training will support our faculty who make such a difference in our students’ lives.”

The faculty will work together to discover new teaching techniques and will attend workshop training with the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton. In addition, they will engage in a virtual book club, among other tasks.

STCC, which has a technical focus in all its programs, is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution. About 30% of the student body are Latino, Latina, or Latinx.