Skip to Main Content

Madera Community College Wins $1M to Support Adult Ed

August 30, 2022

A Madera Community College adult-student graduate poses for a picture with her family.Congratulations to Madera Community College, winner of a $1 million grant from the Lumina Foundation to help the college better connect with adult learners and create a sense of belonging on campus.

The small, rural college was chosen from among 10 finalists as the winner of Lumina’s “Million Dollar Community College Challenge.” The national competition was created to help two-year colleges improve their branding and marketing to adult students.

In addition to grant funding, Madera will receive technical assistance to develop its marketing strategy.

As the only comprehensive postsecondary institution in Madera County, Madera Community College serves a largely agricultural community, with enrollment of around 6,000 students. About a third of its students are over the age of 25.

According to Lumina, Madera will use the grant funds to:

  • Create physical spaces on campus celebrating the region’s heritage and cultural experience.
  • Establish community events for adult students, their families and community partners.
  • Improve processes that bring to life the concept of “pertenencia” — or belonging — at every point of students’ careers.
  • Build community pride in Madera Community College.

Dr. Ángel Reyna, President of Madera Community College, said that many people in the community did not go to college right out of high school. Supporting adult students is seen as a way to bridge the gap between the region’s unemployment and growing labor shortages.

“Through education, people in our community can change the course of their lives. And they can impact the future for generations to follow,” Reyna said. “We are grateful for this award and the opportunity it gives us to reach adult students.”

Madera is one of eight community colleges in the state to pilot a Competency-Based Education program, which allows students to earn credits based on mastery of skill through relevant work experience.