ECMC Foundation Commits $1 Million to Support Innovation Across Zenith Education Group Campuses
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22, 2017 – ECMC Foundation announced today it has awarded more than $1 million to Zenith Education Group’s Altierus and WyoTech campuses as part of its 2017 Campaign for Innovation (CFI). The annual campaign provides grants to the campuses based on faculty and staff recommendations of innovative ideas that promote student success.
"The Campaign for Innovation is a great opportunity for the campuses to suggest solutions to the challenges they encounter on a regular basis," said Jennifer Zeisler, ECMC Foundation program director. "This is the third year for this program and we continue to be inspired by the creative ideas generated through the campaign."
A total of 85 proposals were submitted this year. Of those, 20 were selected per the Foundation’s robust review process. Grantees were selected based on a number of factors including innovation, need, commitment to student learning, and impact on student retention and job placement rates.
Grants were awarded for a myriad of projects including SimSpray equipment for the WyoTech Advanced Technical Training school in Blairsville. The $57,800 grant will be used to support a virtual reality paint trainer that combines game design and interactive technology to teach students how to apply automotive paint. The SimSpray equipment allows students to engage in a more modern learning environment and hone their spray painting skills, without having to wait for paint to dry and before applying those skills in a "live" situation.
"The SimSpray equipment gives our refinishing students the opportunity to work with some cutting-edge technology found in the automotive industry and gives students the practice they need," said Jim Thomas, academic dean at Blairsville-WyoTech. "This will help us see where students need improvement and focus in areas they need the most help to better prepare them for their future careers."
The Altierus Career College in Chesapeake received $34,120 to bring on a part-time licensed social worker, who will provide one-on-one and group student counseling sessions as well as connect students to social services resources in the community.
"We are thrilled to soon have a professional on campus who will work with students through their personal issues and obstacles," says Jacob Kassuba, executive director, Altierus Career College, Chesapeake. "We believe having support services, such as counseling, will improve student satisfaction, retention and graduation at our campus."
ECMC Foundation has awarded a total of $4.5 million through the Campaign for Innovation since 2015. The Foundation’s support for campus-specific programming serves as a significant contributor to the transformation underway on Zenith campuses.