12 Members Get Grant Funding to Strengthen College Success Programming

April 3, 2018

By Kim Szarmach, Communications Intern

College enrollment rates have drastically increased over the last four decades, but graduation rates, particularly among underserved students, remain low. Students in the lowest economic quartile graduate at a rate of 14 percent, compared to 60 percent of students from high socio-economic backgrounds. To combat this issue, many organizations that have always focused on promoting college accessibility are now incorporating success services into their programming.

In October NCAN announced a re-grant opportunity, funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, to help college access organizations establish or significantly expand success programing, and ultimately increase the rate at which low-income and first-generation students graduate. After receiving more than 40 applications, NCAN has selected 12 NCAN-member organizations to each receive $45,000 over two years:

The goal of this project is for grantees to increase the share of their students who receive success services compared to those receiving access services by at least 20 percent in the first year and 15 percent in the second year.

College Horizons is one of the grant winners that is relatively new to success work.

"College Horizons' work has been primarily on college access, and now we are including success programming to better support our Native alumni in their undergraduate and graduate journeys," Scholars Program Director Mikaela Crank Thinn said.

Grantees will use their funding to hire new staff, develop success and retention-oriented curricula for students, and establish new programming, including texting services and summer bridge programs. In addition to providing financial assistance, NCAN is supporting grantees by offering informational webinars, professional development, and engagement with a learning community and higher education partners.

"NCAN is thrilled to offer support and knowledge to our grant winners as they work to move the needle on college completion in their communities," Executive Director Kim Cook said.

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