[GARDEN CITY, Kan.]
Garden City Community College (GCCC) was recently awarded $5,000,000 to become the STEM Central Hub for Western Kansas, thanks to a new Title V Hispanic Serving Institution STEM Grant awarded from the Department of Education that kicked in on Oct. 1.
The five-year, $5 million grant will fund three new programs to be added in Cybersecurity, Robotics, and Crop Production as well as two faculty and two staff positions for implementation and oversight.
Additionally, the grant will provide funding to complete an extension to the north side of the FOUSE building to place a physics lab, cybersecurity lab, robotics lab, classroom, student tutoring space, offices, and a greenhouse.
The STEM Central project has four components:
Expand STEM instruction with three new certificate/degree programs and ten STEM courses converted for online delivery.
Develop a robust Articulation Program with Fort Hays State University, the nearest Kansas four-year institution, with a Transfer Center and services.
Create services including Summer Programs to build STEM interest and skill with activities.
Renovate a STEM Hub and labs and equip the Hub, labs, and STEM classrooms for instruction and support.
GCCC President, Dr. Ruda stated, the opportunities provided by this grant will position GCCC to be the STEM Central Hub for Western Kan., as well as the first community college in the region with separate labs for biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physics, along with a cadaver lab and virtual dissection tables.
“With the award of this grant, GCCC will address the needs of industry with the three new academic programs while also positioning the college for the future to meet student needs in STEM with classroom and lab enhancements as well as academic support in tutoring and transfer assistance,” said Dr. Ruda.
The grant has been developed with yearly goals, activities, and expected outcomes through completion in 2026.