The Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE), a national network of community colleges based at Westchester Community College, has been awarded a highly coveted $125,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation.
This general operating grant to CCCIE will allow the organization to engage in an 18-month strategic planning process to help build CCCIE capacity, determine its core organizational priorities, integrate CCCIE’s expertise and work on immigrant education issues into broader national reform initiatives supporting the national college completion agenda. The grant period will culminate in a five-year strategic plan to guide CCCIE’s future growth and progress toward advancing college success for immigrant students.
CCCIE is focused on increasing educational opportunities for immigrant students, and as part of its planning process under this new grant, will engage in various activities such as strengthening its infrastructure through exploration of diversified funding and revenue streams, solidifying its collaboration with existing partners, and aligning its work with other national network organizations focused on college success and workforce development initiatives.
The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, work in the environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit. Fostering greater access to and success in postsecondary education for low-income, minority and first-generation college students is the focus of Kresge’s education grantmaking.
This particular grant will be administered through the Westchester Community College Foundation.
Immigrants and their children are vital to the future of the American workforce, yet many face challenges in attaining a postsecondary education and entering careers in this country. The nation’s 1,200 community colleges play an integral role in the linguistic, civic, and economic integration of our country’s immigrants and are among the largest providers of English as a Second Language instruction in many states and communities, including Westchester County.
However, across the country, college completion rates for the immigrant student population are lower than for the general population. “The Kresge Foundation grant offers CCCIE a major opportunity to strengthen its capacity to help community colleges serve a fast-growing immigrant population, as well as engage with other national reform networks focused on college completion and skills enhancement. With this grant, the impact of CCCIE’s work will be far reaching,” said Teresita B. Wisell, Executive Director of CCCIE and Associate Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Westchester Community College.
Established in 2008, with major and continued support from the J.M. Kaplan Fund, CCCIE (www.cccie.org) is committed to strengthening and expanding programs and services for immigrant students and leveraging the special role community colleges play in the immigrant integration and education ecosystem. CCCIE is a national initiative led by Westchester Community College, an institution committed to serving a county where one in four residents is foreign born.
“The opportunity to lead CCCIE has been very important to Westchester Community College and to our Foundation and affirms our strong dedication to immigrant education in our community and nationally. This generous grant from The Kresge Foundation will allow Westchester Community College to continue its support of CCCIE and the important work it is doing to raise immigrant education on the national agenda,” said David Swope, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Westchester Community College. “We are grateful to The Kresge Foundation for its support and recognition of the important role that community colleges working together can play nationally in advancing immigrant student success.”
CCCIE is guided by a Blue Ribbon Panel that includes community colleges—both urban and rural—from a dozen different states, representing traditional gateway destinations as well as newer destination states. CCCIE’s major activities include action-based research and exchange of promising practices, thought leadership through conference planning and presentations, technical assistance to community colleges and other key stakeholders, and strategic partnerships to expand its policy reach and influence the field of immigrant education.
The CCCIE host college, Westchester Community College, offers integrated programs and services for immigrant and U.S. born students, such as a welcome center to help new students navigate the campus; the English Language Institute, serving 5,000 ESL students annually; comprehensive student support services; and community-based and employer partnerships that support workforce advancement.