CCM is finalist in $1M grant competition for efforts to attract adult students

The County College of Morris is one of 10 colleges nationwide — and the only one in New Jersey — selected as a finalist in a competition that could bring the school $1 million in its efforts to market itself with adult students.

The Million Dollar Community College Challenge, sponsored by the Lumina Foundation, is meant to assist two-year institutions with brand building and marketing. The challenge is designed to help community colleges to connect with adult students who need a college degree or short-term credential.

As a finalist, CCM is assured of a $100,000 grant for branding, marketing and technical assistance. The winner of the $1 million grant will be announced in August.

CCM is required to develop a creative brief and a video narrative that communicates what the college promises adult students. CCM President Anthony Iacono was thrilled the school has such a terrific opportunity.

“We’re delighted to have been selected by such a prestigious national organization and to have our marketing efforts supported and recognized,” he said.

“Reaching the adult market is an essential part of a community college’s mission, in that we offer the flexibility and affordability that is needed to improve one’s life when there are so many other competing responsibilities, such as work and family. We applaud Lumina for providing additional support so more people can reach for their dreams.”

Lumina is an independent, private foundation based in Indianapolis committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. It envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials.

Shauna David, strategy director for community college participation at Lumina, said the organization’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.

“The Million Dollar Community College Challenge is all about promoting the opportunities at community colleges and connecting adults to higher education,” she said. “The 10 finalists each submitted a compelling vision for making vital campus-to-community connections and creative ideas for promoting their college’s brand.”

The other finalists:

  • College of Eastern Idaho;
  • Community College of Rhode Island;
  • Great Falls (Montana) College;
  • Houston Community College;
  • Long Beach (California) City College;
  • Madera (California) Community College;
  • Madison (Wisconsin) Area Technical College;
  • Minnesota State College Southeast;
  • Montana State University;
  • Northwest-Shoals (Alabama) Community College.

CCM is continually ranked as one of the best community colleges in the state and the country. The college continues to maintain its No. 1 position in the state in PayScale’s “Best Community Colleges in New Jersey by Salary Potential,” a distinction it has held for five years in a row.