ATHENS, W.Va.—Concord University has received a Title III grant from the United States Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) designed to help eligible institutes of higher education expand their ability to serve low-income students. The award will bring just over $2 million to the university over the next five years.
Dr. Sarah Beasley, Vice President of Student Affairs, received a call from Senator Joe Manchin’s office Monday morning, followed by an email detailing the award. This decision comes more than one year after Concord University applied for the grant.
The grant proposal outlines a project called CU Forward, which is broken into three focus areas: increasing affordable access to general education and market-driven degree programs through online courses, providing student engagement with research/internships that lead to graduation and a career, and developing a robust and transparent office of Institutional Research to share data with students, parents, and community, faculty, and staff.
A large component of the CU Forward project includes enhancing the university’s IT infrastructure, which will support many things including online dual enrollment and college readiness courses for high school students, as well as additional online courses and degree programs for Concord students.
“This grant will allow Concord University to provide transformative teaching and learning opportunities through the modernizing of our technological infrastructure,”Cayce Will, CU’s Chief Information Officer
Members from Concord’s Offices of Student Affairs, Sponsored Programs, Academic Affairs, and Institutional Technology assisted in writing the grant.
“A lot of people worked on this grant. It was a huge team effort, and we’re all incredibly excited as this gives Concord further funding to continue to innovate and provide educational opportunities for the students of West Virginia,”Dr. Sarah Beasley
CU Forward is designed to improve retention and graduation rates, as well as strengthen enrollment by providing affordable and flexible education to students, coupled with the support necessary for success.
“I’m very proud of our team for explaining the needs of this area to the U.S. Department of Education, and I am grateful to Senator Manchin and his staff for funds that are vital to our mission and strategic plan. We will operate this grant in a way that will make the community proud of the efforts that have been made.”Dr. Kendra Boggess, Concord University President
The first installment of this grant is expected October 1st, and implementation of the CU Forward plan will begin with its arrival.
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