Mount Wachusett Community College has just been awarded a U.S. Department of Education’s Title III – Strengthening Institutions Program grant for a total of $2,249,709 over five years.
The Title III Part A Programs – Strengthening Institutions grant program helps eligible institutions of higher education to expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.
“The Title III grant can and will be a catalyst for transformative change within the college as we address longstanding equity issues, enhancing student-centered initiatives, and furthering our strategic goals listed in our five-year Strategic Plan,” stated MWCC President James Vander Hooven. “The changes and enhancements we intend to make with this funding will not only align with MWCC’s identity, but also will be a natural extension of our identity as the region’s community college – an equity-minded, data-informed, student-centered, and fiscally responsible institution.”
MWCC plans to utilize the Title III grant funds to; move the equity imperative forward in a deliberative and intentional way; strengthen student onboarding and student support systems; improve curriculum and career alignment; fortify student readiness and competitiveness in the workforce; modernize aging institutional technological systems and processes to improve efficiency and the student experience; and improve student persistence, retention, engagement, achievement, and three year graduation rates.
Title III grants are highly competitive five-year awards that are only awarded to eligible institutions for whom at least 50% of students are Pell grant eligible, and/or have low educational and general expenditures. This grant program is intended to support institutions that serve low-income students “by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of institutions” (US Dept. of Ed.).