The U.S. Department of Education has awarded McDowell Technical Community College a $2.045 million competitive grant to be dispersed over the next five years.
The funding is part of the department’s Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP), which aims to help institutions boost their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds that help them become self-sufficient, expand capacity to serve students, and improve and strengthen the institution.
This is the largest grant ever awarded to the institution.
The Title III SIP grant, which is one of only a few awarded to colleges nationwide, will help supplement MTCC’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a requirement of the college’s accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The QEP, “Hear Our R.O.A.R.R.,” is aimed at improving Registration, Orientation, Advising, Retention, and Referral.
“Receiving this Title III grant is truly a blessing for MTCC, our students, and the entire community.” said Dr. Beverly Watts, Dean of Student Success. “Our QEP will provide better access to student services and guided pathways through our programs of study. More successful students lead to a stronger workforce and a thriving community!”
Watts will serve as the project director for the grant.
The initiative will fund student success coaches to provide comprehensive support services to students and will help streamline and improve the registration and admissions experience for new students.
In addition, the Title III grant will provide needed funding to renovate the Student Services Department in the Cedar (Administration) Building and create a modern, “One-Stop” Student Success Center that better meets the needs of today’s students. One-Stop centers are designed to allow students to access all of the resources they need in one place, rather than being referred to multiple offices in multiple buildings to access those resources.
MTCC will adopt a web-based early alert and academic planning system known as “Aviso Retention” that will help enhance the student advising experience. Early alert systems help identify at-risk students who may need greater support to be successful in the classroom and progress normally toward their academic goals.
The Title III project will also provide enhanced levels of professional development for faculty and staff and help to expand work-based learning opportunities at MTCC.
“Our vision at MTCC is clear. We will learn and grow while focusing on individuals, our community, and our institution,” said Merritt. “This Title III grant is a direct reflection of the hard work our QEP Team and the entire MTCC family put in during the re-accreditation process to create a comprehensive plan that will improve our student experience. We are eternally grateful to the U.S. Department of Education for this opportunity to help McDowell Tech better serve all students who walk through our doors and find more equitable solutions that will positively impact our community.”