Monroe County Community College has secured its second six-figure National Science Foundation grant in less than three years.
The college learned last month that it has received a $105,027 grant from the National Science Foundation for a three-year project titled “Collaborative Research: Improving the Educational Experiences, Outcomes and Career Pathways of Welding Technology Students."
The college was awarded a $224,906 NSF grant in the spring of 2018 for a project titled “Advanced Welder Education” with the goal of increasing the region’s supply of qualified welders with advanced levels of education who can further research, development and innovation in the field.
MCCC is a sub grantee on this latest NSF grant; the University of Michigan is the fiduciary of the overall grant of $799,982, said Parmeshwar (Peter) Coomar, dean of the Applied Science and Engineering technology Division at MCCC and the college’s lead on implementing the grant project. In addition to UM, MCCC is partnering on the grant with sub grantees: Wayne State University and Macomb Community College.
According to Coomar, the demand for welding personnel has steadily increased, but welding graduates are on the decline. As significant producers of welding personnel, Southeast Michigan colleges have challenging workforce development needs and diverse student populations.
This project will help colleges to better understand what factors influence the experiences of welding students, what promotes their graduation and matriculation to welding career pathways, and how the expectations of students, instructors and employers align with welding industry needs, Coomar said. He added that it will build a research collaboration among faculty, administrators at UM, MCCC, Wayne State and Macomb.
The specific goals of the project are to:
- Document the educational, personal and professional experiences of welding technology students and how their experiences affect their career decisions;
- Understand welding faculty and employers’ expectations of students and graduates; and
- Identify obstacles and issues that contribute to student attrition or lack of matriculation.
Coomar said the grant project will have a broad impact by helping “faculty and administrators understand and apply practices that support students to ensure the growth of a generation of technically-skilled welders.”
About Monroe County Community College
Founded in 1964, Monroe County Community College is a public, two-year institution supported by tax monies from Monroe County, educational funds from the State of Michigan and student tuition. The college’s mission is to enrich lives in our community by providing opportunity through student-focused, affordable, quality higher education and other learning experiences. The Main Campus is located at 1555 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, Mich., 48161, with easy access to Toledo and Detroit. The Whitman Center is located in Temperance, Mich., 48182, near the Ohio-Michigan Border. Detailed information about MCCC is available at www.monroeccc.edu.