NDSU has been awarded a $200,000 College Completion Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corp. to help propel at-risk students to graduation. NDSU is one of 14 two- and four-year colleges in five states that were awarded College Completion Grants.
“NDSU is excited to be working on this project which is consistent with NDSU’s values as a student-focused university. Helping students overcome obstacles to graduation will help meet the workforce needs of North Dakota and this grant is particularly exciting since it focuses on students who are close to graduation,” said Laura Oster-Aaland, associate vice provost for enrollment management.
The grant targets students in their senior year who may face obstacles such as reaching the limit for financial aid, needing extra academic support or encountering difficult life challenges. The grant also focuses on majors in high-demand career fields — human development and family science, business administration or accounting, and computer science or management information systems.
There are three proposed strategies that will help students stay on track to graduation, including proactive advising, financial support and enriched instruction through peer coaching and small-group tutoring.
“We are impressed that NDSU and our other grant recipients critically analyzed their institutional data and then proposed comprehensive plans to help struggling students cross the finish line and begin careers in high-demand fields,” said Richard D. George, president and chief executive officer of Great Lakes. “Given our philanthropic focus on advancing completion, we’re interested to see how these plans can positively impact graduation rates for low-income students, first-generation students and students of color.”
Approximately 200 students per semester are expected to benefit from the grant that began in early January. Grant organizers will start reaching out to eligible students in spring semester 2017. Eligible students in the target majors will have completed more than three-quarters of their degree requirements.
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