Phoenix College was recently awarded a $4.2 million grant to fulfill its Boundless Broadband Transforming Minority Communities project. The goal of the project is to increase awareness, access, education and workforce experiences in the surrounding Phoenix area.
This substantial grant is part of a larger National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program (CMCPP) program which specifically directs $268 million from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 for expanding high-speed Internet access and connectivity to eligible HBCUs, Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), and other Minority-serving institutions (MSIs). Ninety-three grants were awarded throughout the country. Phoenix College is one of only four Hispanic Service Institutions (HSI) to receive a grant from this program. While Phoenix College receives a majority of the grant, South Mountain Community College also received funding for establishing an on-campus broadband coworking site. Three other Arizona institutions of higher education also received funding, the University of Arizona ($3M), Dine College ($2.9M), and Tohono O’odham Community College ($1.9M)
This grant will allow Phoenix College, over the next two years, to loan hundreds of laptop computers to students, significantly expand campus broadband capacity, and establish on- and off-campus coworking sites to support online and hybrid learners. The funding will also support the development of online curriculum for IT certificates and programs, including cloud computing, web design, and cybersecurity. Phoenix College will also be developing a new Emerging Technologies Certificate and purchasing software and hardware (including 3D printers) to support programs in Information Technology, including the new Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology (debuting in Fall 2023).
Over the two-year funding program, Phoenix College will also provide 48 full-tuition scholarships for the new Emerging Technologies Certificate and 500 laptops in the Loan to Own program for English as a Second Language (ESL) learners.
"This grant increases equity and access for underserved Phoenix College and South Mountain Community Colleges students to pursue credentials in high-demand emerging technologies. Only a handful of higher education institutions across the United States will offer these cutting-edge programs, providing students with paid hands-on experience alongside classroom instruction to expand the local workforce. We are honored to receive this grant." - Dr. Kimberly Britt, President, Phoenix College.
Phoenix College is the flagship of the ten colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Established in 1920, PC offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and micro-credentials to educate Phoenix’s workforce.