U.S. Senator Jerry Moran’s staff notified Manhattan Area Technical College (MATC) that the institution has been selected to receive funding under the Strengthening Institutions Program (i.e., Title III), through the U.S. Department of Education. The grant can run for up to five years, and the funding for the first year (October 1, 2016-September 30, 2017) is $449,986.00.
Strengthening Institutions Programs is designed to help eligible institutions of higher education become self-sufficient and expand capacity to serve at risk students, often through improving the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of the institution. For MATC the grant project will provide resources to improve and enhance online and hybrid learning options for students, more interactive student support services including tutoring, advising, and early academic alert. Renovations on the campus will offer a Teaching/Learning Center for professional development for instructors, and facility areas to encourage tutoring, and collaborative learning. Technology upgrades will be part of the project, and a portion of the federal funds can be used as an endowment match to enhance the capacity of the College’s Foundation for more fiscal sustainability.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to use these resources to continue improving and enhancing our learning environment for students and instructors,” President Genandt stated. “Many of the College’s faculty and staff collaborated on this proposal, and now we will make ideas into realities to help students learn, to provide options for how instructors help students learn, and for our staff to extend stronger support services for student success.”
MATC is one of six technical colleges in the state of Kansas. It is a public, accredited institution of higher education, but has no taxing authority. Genandt added: “One of our challenges is that resources that traditionally fund higher education are not available to the technical colleges. However, many of our costs are higher as we do occupational programs such as electric power and distribution, dental hygiene, HVAC, building trades, etc., that have significant expenses in equipment and materials. We also use very skilled individuals as our instructors, and these are persons who can make much more working in the industry rather than teaching. Yet, without their engagement we would not be able to train the next waves of workers in occupational areas we all depend upon. When the ice storm knocks out our power, we want that electrical lineman who knows are to safely repair the damage. When our air conditioning goes out during a hot summer day, we need a skilled HVAC technician. When you or a family member are not feeling well and you are at the clinic, you want a skilled nurse. MATC trains people to make the world work. But it comes at a cost.”
MATC was recently recognized by WalletHub, a Washington, D.C. business firm, as being effective and efficient in both student completion and cost of programs, and in the earning power for students when they enter the workforce. Of 821 community and technical colleges surveyed by the company from across the United States, MATC ranked second in Kansas, and 19th nationally. Students who earn an associate of applied science degree from MATC have an average first year salary of more than $40,000.
Resource: KMAN News Radio.