Pueblo Community College receives $11 million in grants

PUEBLO – Pueblo Community College recently received nearly $11 million in federal, state and local grants to expand and promote numerous college programs:

  • A $2.9 million federal Title V grant will help create Onboarding Practices and Teaching to Implement Cultural Awareness (OPTICA), a program to help new students adjust to life at PCC. The goal is to increase PCC’s student retention and overall graduation rate and decrease average student debt. The college also will create a faculty learning lab for professional development with a goal of increasing the percentage of PCC courses that use culturally relevant teaching methods.
  • A $5 million federal Title III grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education is going to the STEM EDGE (Excellence in Development, student Growth and Equity) project to develop and carry out activities to improve and expand PCC’s capacity to serve Hispanic and low-income students. PCC is a Hispanic-Serving Institution, which means at least 25 percent of its full-time student body is Hispanic. The college is collaborating with Colorado State University Pueblo for the project.
  • The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative awarded a $1.4 million Finish What You Started grant to supplement PCC’s successful Return to Earn scholarship program. RTE is for those who left PCC with fewer than 30 credits needed to graduate. The program provides multiple levels of support to help these students return and complete their degree.  
  • A $1.2 million grant from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative will assist the health information technology and computer information systems programs at PCC’s Fremont and Southwest campuses. The money will help with financial aid, program promotion, enrollment assistance, academic and social support, and employment assistance.
  • PCC is one of four schools in the Colorado Community College System to receive a $250,000 CO-TECH grant to collaborate with employers to increase registered apprenticeship opportunities in information technology and cybersecurity careers. PCC will respond to regional demand by expanding its remote IT helpdesk and tech support apprenticeship, as well as its software and app developer apprenticeship. Students in the program will receive a credential from PCC and an industry-recognized credential from CompTIA, Amazon Web Services, Oracle or Microsoft.
  • The City of Pueblo awarded $150,000 in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act grant to PCC’s Children First program. The money will 11elp new childcare providers establish their licensed programs in order to expand childcare options in Pueblo. The program also will help families find available childcare resources.
  • A grant for $100,000 from the Colorado Healthcare Experiential Learning Pathways to Success (CO-HELPS) program will help with planning, development and implementation expenses associated with PCC’s new medical assistant apprenticeship program.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded these grant-funded opportunities,” said PCC President Patty Erjavec. “This PCC team is dynamic and committed. The additional financial support will go a long way in achieving an even greater impact on student success.”  

Founded in 1933, Pueblo Community College is a premier teaching institution focused on providing academic and service excellence, without discrimination, to help its students acquire the 21st-century skills needed to better their lives. An educational and technological leader, PCC fosters economic development and utilizes strong partnerships in the communities it serves through its Pueblo, Fremont and Southwest campuses.


Public Relations Coordinator
Amy Matthew

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