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IU South Bend receives $2 million to increase retention and graduation rates for low income and at-risk students

Sep 28, 2022

Indiana University South Bend is proud to announce that it was recently awarded a $2,092,527 Strengthening Institutions Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant provides more than 73 percent of the total costs and will support a transformative five-year project that will take a learning community approach to student success.

The grant is one of the most competitive and coveted grants among the Department of Education programs that provide federal aid to eligible institutions of higher education. The project will help the campus accomplish three goals:

1) Increase retention of low-income (Pell-eligible) and underrepresented students (African American and LatinX)

2) Improve student achievement in key gateway courses and eliminate achievement gaps

3) Increase 4- and 6-year graduation rates to be more equitable among all IU South Bend undergraduate students

Leadership, faculty, and staff from across the university collaboratively worked on applying for this grant, and that strong collaboration across every unit on campus will continue as we begin to implement this project, said Chancellor Susan Elrod. Our team is unified around our goals to increase retention and graduation outcomes, thereby improving student success, which will provide more graduates to fuel our economy, teach in our schools, work as health professionals, serve as community leaders, and create a thriving culture.IU South Bend will emerge from this project stronger than we are now, and the ultimate benefactors of this award are our students and our community.

The federal funds will address the three goals by supporting several evidence-based, proven activities. IU South Bend will establish an early intervention effort to integrate academic and student services through case management, enhanced faculty interaction, and peer support. The grant will support several new Titan Team Leaders who will receive training in case management and will ultimately provide support to several small groups of beginning undergraduate students called Titan Teams. The campus will increase success rates in math, science, and English gateway courses using tutoring, supplemental instruction, peer mentors, and collaborative learning. Finally, IUSB will create an Office of Professional Engagement to increase and support workplace experiences.

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