Illinois College receives transformative grant, expands support for students
Illinois College has been awarded a $2.1 million Title III Strengthening Institutions grant by the U.S. Department of Education to improve student success, retention, and graduation.
This grant will support faculty and staff as they help students navigate each step of their journey at Illinois College. Students will feel the impact of the changes as soon as they return to campus in the fall.
The Title III grant focuses on five key areas: expanded support for students through academic coaching, consolidation of academic support services in one location, enhanced technology, professional development for faculty and staff, and an increase in endowed scholarships. Five new staff members will provide academic coaching to help students, especially those in their first year, with course selection, test-taking strategies, and other academic support.
The main floor of Lincoln Hall will be renovated this summer to create a new technology-rich learning HUB on campus. The centralized HUB will house the Center for Academic Excellence; the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; the Center for Career Readiness and Experiential Learning; the Chesley Health and Wellness Center; the Templeton Counseling Center; and the Writing Center. The redesigned space will promote group study and collaboration and is expected to open in August 2019.
The initiative will also support faculty and staff in teaching diverse learners and effectively using technology in 21st-century learning environments. Customized programming will upgrade existing internal communication platforms to better deliver academic advising and improve responsiveness in serving students. In addition, the initiative creates a new endowed scholarship fund. Donors who contribute to this endowed fund will have their gifts matched one-to-one with federal funds until the goal of $490,000 is achieved, over five years.
The grant will provide 50% of initiative funding over the next five years. Illinois College will invest an additional $2.1 million in institutional funds toward the student success initiative, providing the remaining 50% of initiative funding.
Dr. Andrew Jones, associate provost and dean of student success, is leading the team that will implement the grant. He says the initiative will have a major impact on the entire learning community.
“This grant will support faculty and staff as they help students navigate each step of their journey at Illinois College,” said Jones. “Students will feel the impact of the changes as soon as they return to campus in the fall. This initiative will enhance students’ learning experience and provide important resources to help us prepare students to graduate ready to become leaders in their professions and communities.”