GREAT FALLS — Great Falls College-MSU has been named one of 10 finalists for 'The Million Dollar Community College Challenge' sponsored by the Lumina Foundation.
Upon completing the next steps in Phase 2 of the challenge, Great Falls College will receive a $100,000 grant and technical assistance to support brand-building and strategic marketing efforts. It also means Great Falls College is still in the running for the $1 million grand prize.
Great Falls College applied to participate along with hundreds of other schools and was chosen as one of the top 10.
Phase one of the challenge was for participating colleges to submit a plan for making campus-to-community connections and marketing the college.
Each college has to create a video by June 10 highlighting what the college can offer adult students.
“The Lumina Foundation is being very helpful in helping us put together what we need to complete phase two,” said GFC-MSU Dean Dr. Stephanie Erdmann.
Once they do that, they’ll get $100,000 and move on for a chance to win the $1 million grand prize.
"Essentially, the last 20 years or so Great Falls College has undergone a couple of name changes, as has University of Providence, so I believe the biggest thing this branding and marketing can do is really help the community understand Great Falls College, what our name is, what we do here, so that we're not the best kept secret in Montana anymore,” said Erdmann.
“The Million Dollar Community College Challenge is all about promoting the opportunities at community colleges and connecting adults to higher education,” said Shauna Davis, strategy director for community college participation at Lumina. “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 nine other finalists are: Madera Community College near Fresno, California; Community College of Rhode Island; College of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls; Houston Community College; County College of Morris in New Jersey; Long Beach City College in California; Northwest-Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals, Alabama; Minnesota State College Southeast in Minnesota; and Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin.
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