The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South program scores highly coveted grant

Construction+associate+professor+Orlando+Bagcal+was+an+integral+leader+in+the+application+process+for+a+%2475%2C000+grant.+South+Campus+beat+out+four-year+colleges.%0A%0ABogdan+Sierra+Miranda%2FThe+Collegian
Construction associate professor Orlando Bagcal was an integral leader in the application process for a $75,000 grant. South Campus beat out four-year colleges. Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

By Hannah Lathen/ campus editor

Construction associate professor Orlando Bagcal was an integral leader in the application process for a $75,000 grant. South Campus beat out four-year colleges. Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
Construction associate professor Orlando Bagcal was an integral leader in the application process for a $75,000 grant. South Campus beat out four-year colleges.
Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

South Campus’ construction management technology program is the only one from a two-year college to receive a national grant to help students receive scholarships and earn opportunities to receive national certifications.

Each year, the National Housing Endowment awards a Homebuilding Education Leadership Program grant to colleges and universities to help expand their construction programs.

South, which will receive $75,000, was one of three schools to receive the grant this year.

Construction associate professor Orlando Bagcal spearheaded the grant application process, which started in March.

“They want to focus on helping the programs increasing enrollment through helping our students develop an interest in homebuilding construction,” he said. “It’s more on mentorships, internships, employment, computers, scholarships and supporting faculty to become nationally certified professionals in the field of home building so they will be able to teach and encourage students to consider that particular industry.”

Bagcal said he worked closely with grant development services to write the required 33,000-word proposal.

“We put in the background of the faculty, the history of the students, the recognitions of the students and awards of the students and the facilities that we have,” he said. “So they are going to judge on those areas. If they see that we are able to comply and able to implement the grant, then you will be selected in the top five.”

The five semifinalists were then required to submit a full proposal. Bagcal said the full proposals were judged, and three finalists were selected. Then the three had to give an oral presentation in Washington, D.C.

Bagcal said he received the winning news right before returning to Texas after presenting his proposal.

“The CEO called me before I boarded the plane and said, ‘Congratulations.’”

Bagcal said the grant will allow the program to provide more mentorships and internships for students.

“The H.E.L.P. grant will be used to expand, enhance and strengthen the curricular offerings in the construction management program,” he said.

As well as helping students in residential courses and increasing enrollment, “the money will also support two faculty and two graduating students in receiving the certified green professional designation given by the NHB and to support 12 student scholarships,” he said.

Bagcal said the two students who will receive certification will be selected based on GPAs and interests in residential construction.

“We will be asking them to write an essay to demonstrate their interests in the homebuilding industry,” he said.

Bagcal said applying for this grant was something he was not required to do, but something he did on his own.

“I just wanted to give my students the opportunity,” he said. “You know, if you don’t do it, who will do it?”

TCC grants development director Heidi Yaple worked with Bagcal on the grant application.

“Bagcal had all the information, and then we took the information and we took the application package and reshaped what he had written so that it fit with what the National Housing Endowment was looking for,” she said.

Yaple said applying for the grant was a process that included having to get an application ready during the summer when most faculty were gone or had varying schedules, but Bagcal was always available.

“Being awarded after going through all of that is just so exciting, and it is special because the recognition that the college has as being a recipient in community colleges, that’s not the norm,” she said. “It is certainly something that when people not associated with TCC but people who don’t understand community college, that’s one I pull out of my hip pocket and say, ‘Well, we have competed and won.’”

Yaple said in the 24 years that she has been doing grants, working with Bagcal is in her top 10.

South academic affairs vice president Dana Grove said this grant brings recognition to the construction management program.

“This really puts our name out there nationally, and it really spotlights, obviously, the construction program also,” he said.

Business and technology divisional dean Ernest Gines said this grant is not only favorable to TCC but especially to the students enrolled in the program.

“The housing industry is exploding. In terms of building and expansion, look in Frisco just as a small example. Housing costs are rising, so the demand is there,” he said. “This is very beneficial to the students from the classroom to employment.”

Bagcal says the program will receive the money in January, and it will be implemented right away.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian