Creativity: The Best Kept Secret to Funding Campus Security

School districts and institutions of higher learning that are inventive can use grant programs like i3 or TAACCCT to support their comprehensive security initiatives.

As an example at higher education, let’s consider the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. TAACCCT is a career training program, not a security grant. The funding does come from the Department of Labor and therefore the intent is on developing a strong workforce. However, there are some statements for allowable uses that could enable some of the monies to fund some security measures. For example, the current application lists as an allowable use the following: “purchasing or upgrading classroom supplies and equipment and/or educational technologies that will contribute to the instructional purpose in education and training courses supported by the grant.”

It then goes on to state that other allowable uses include: “altering or renovating facilities (in accordance with the Federal Cost Principles at 2 CFR Part 220) that are used for education and training and related activities (which could include ensuring that the facilities comply with Federal architectural accessibility obligations that require facilities to be readily accessible to and usable by qualified individuals with disabilities). Capital expenditures, such as equipment or capital improvements, are allowable with prior approval from the grant officer. A capital improvement is a type of capital expenditure as described in 2 CFR 220 part 220, App. A., J. 18(a)(1).”

Put Them All Toget
her to Succeed

Now, let’s make the connections. Can the schools or institutions of higher education really use grants, such as i3 or TAACCCT, for security? Yes, as long as campus officials applying for these grants think creatively. 

Think about the president’s goals in “Now is the Time.” His ultimate goal is to make schools safer by enhancing physical security, ensuring an appropriate level of preparedness for emergencies, and creating safer and more nurturing school environments. 

Related Article: Campus Safety Grant Strategies: Your 1st Steps

Now, let’s think again about i3. What if an i3 grant were written collaboratively between a school district, an institution of higher learning and others? And what if part of the plan were to create a safer, more nurturing environment where security measures were in place in order to allow students to relax and learn? Then, wouldn’t it be easy to see how security needs could be met with i3 funds?

And let’s think again about TAACCCT. What if a TAACCCT grant were written to provide your community college with an amazing career program. And what if an important part of making that program successful was the need for call boxes or panic buttons in those classrooms in order to ensure a safe and nurturing environment that is prepared for any potential emergency? Then, would security purchases fit?

So, how can you do this? It’s simple really. Find out what funding is available, see if it meets a curricular need you have and then, be creative. Read the fine print and find out how you might be able to meet other needs as well. You can do it! 

Dr. Paula Loveis president of, a company that provides custom bid searches for security funding and other types of grant opportunities. She can be reached at

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