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The W receives $1.5M grant focusing on retention

Photo courtesy of the Mississippi University of Women.

Mississippi University for Women has been awarded a $1.5 million grant over a five-year period from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III program to implement processes that will improve retention and graduation rates and streamline the student advising process.

This nationally competitive grant, under the “Strengthening Institutions,” program is the first of this kind to be the awarded to The W.

Dr. David Brooking, director of The W’s Student Success Center and Title III Project, said Title III grants help support institutions that serve low-income students by strengthening the academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability of eligible institutions. The grant will run through September 2023.

The W’s grant will cover programs including redesigning intermediate education courses, professional development for intermediate education instructors, release time for faculty-led enhancements and improvements, establishing a peer mentoring program, and implementing a web-based tutoring program.

Brooking added that streamlining the advising process will also be a major component covered under the grant. Goals include expanding targeted counseling services and outreach to faculty, implementing comprehensive training and support program for faculty advisers, establishing advising fellows program for continued professional development and implementing an electronic degree audit and data analytics system titled Degree Works.

“This grant will help fulfill the university’s mission of empowering students as we work toward increasing college completion rates,” said W President Nora Miller.

As part of the implementation, three new positions will be created in the areas of information systems, outreach through The W’s Counseling Center and an intermediate math developer.

“This grant will boost the university’s efforts to serve students who are college able but not always college ready,” Brooking said. “The funding from this award will enable the University to provide additional support to our students enrolled in intermediate coursework, which will translate to higher success rates. The grant will make a huge difference and will help strengthen the institution in the long run.”

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