Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) is among eight institutions of higher education in Virginia to receive a portion of a $725,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced the funding Tuesday, with PHCC to receive $105,000 of the Lumina Foundation’s Equity Institutions grant.
“PHCC has long been recognized as a national leader in cooperative learning, a teaching strategy uniquely linked to closing equity gaps. While these efforts have been very successful, equity work is never done,” Greg Hodges, PHCC’s Vice President for Academic & Student Success Services, said. “Infusing culturally responsive teaching into our classrooms helps ensure that PHCC is meeting the academic and student support needs of all of our students.”
The grant will support PHCC’s efforts to improve outcomes for students of color in alignment with state and local attainment goals. Specifically, PHCC will utilize the funds in three areas:
1) Providing professional development opportunities for full-time and adjunct faculty. This extra training will deepen educators’ familiarity and practice with culturally responsive pedagogy for both face-to-face and online classes.
2) Supporting and advancing the work of PHCC’s Equity Alliance Response (EAR) Team. This team seeks to proactively listen for and address any potential concerns regarding inequity that may arise within the college’s student body or among its employees.
3) PHCC will partner with the Virginia Community College System to provide best practices and lessons learned to help promote the equity agenda on a broad statewide level. Some of the activities that the grant could support include creating learning communities, providing faculty development, and building infrastructure to support sustainability.
“The disruptive impacts of the pandemic on our education system have exposed an urgent need to address achievement gaps that have long persisted in historically underserved communities,” Northam said in a release. “We are grateful for our partnership with Lumina and remain steadfast in our ongoing work to build a more inclusive Commonwealth where every student has equitable access to quality, affordable postsecondary opportunities.”
Ultimately, the Equity Institutions grant will help the participating colleges support the state’s goal of increasing educational achievement for students of color by 5 percentage points by 2024 and making Virginia the best-educated state in the nation by 2030 with 70 percent of working-age adults earning a degree or credential.