HLC Self Study
Chapter 5 Graphic

Budgeting for a Learning College

Budgeting priorities reflect that improvement in teaching and learning is a core value of Estrella Mountain Community College. Figure 34 indicates that the largest percentage of financial allocation goes to areas within the College dedicated directly to instruction or to learning support areas.  A combination of these areas (i.e., student services, academic support and instruction) totals 79 percent of the institutional budget. Through the Financial Resource Plan, the College examines financial resource allocations regularly to capture any further shifts possible within the budget that could direct financial resources toward proven strategies that positively affect student learning, persistence and completion. With a future-oriented concern for ensuring educational quality, the College continually seeks new funding sources to help support program development and student success initiatives. 

Figure 34

Over the past several academic years, the College’s Budget Development Steering Team has utilized data on students’ use of learning support services and students’ success rates to bring increases in budget allocations of both permanent and one-time-only funds to learning support services.

Fourth Revenue Stream

Designated a Hispanic Serving Institution, Estrella Mountain was first awarded a Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2001.  Focused on increasing the success of underrepresented student populations in the areas of math and science, the total amount of the award over the five-year funding cycle was $2.2 million. 

In 2008, Estrella Mountain Community College was awarded a second Title V grant. This $2.8 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education has allowed the College to focus its efforts on becoming more learning-centered.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Estrella Mountain Community College $482,213 from 2006-2010 for scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). NSF also awarded Estrella Mountain $499,995 from 2007-2011 for scholarships via its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP). Both of these NSF funded grants seek to recruit students interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, especially those from underrepresented groups. The goals of each grant project are to support students in their academic endeavors, promote student success through the completion of an associate degree and/or transfer to a four-year institution, and expose participants to various professional avenues that the STEM disciplines provide.

Growing the Endowment

Estrella Mountain is working diligently to ensure that scholarship dollars remain available for students. The Estrella Mountain endowed fund provides donors with a permanent way to ensure the annual distribution of funds for scholarship programs.  Through community partnerships and special projects, such as the Estrella Rotary Foundation Annual Car Raffle, the Annual Golf Tournament and the Annual Awards for Excellence Dinner and Gala, the College has been able to secure more than $1 million for student scholarships.

As part of the endowment program, two cycles of federal funding have been received by the College through the U.S. Department of Education’s Title V grant program. This federal funding helps maximize and expand efforts to promote a life of learning for all employees. Title V grant guidelines allow each supported institution to establish an endowment by raising dollars each year with the benefit of a federal match of the stated fundraising goal. During the College’s first Title V grant, Estrella Mountain established a $250,000 endowment by raising $25,000 per year and receiving the federal match of $25,000 per year, for a total of $50,000 per year.

Now during the second Title V grant, the College is striving to reach a goal that includes a $75,000 non-federal endowment match every year over the next five years. The Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and Development Operations has achieved the federal match obligation of $75,000 per year for the first two years of the five-year grant, and intentions are to meet this commitment for the remaining three years of the grant.