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Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant

Background
Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant programs are designed to help eligible institutions of higher education become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.

Additional information on Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant funding can be found here.

Title III at ECU
In 2010, ECU secured a $2M Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.  ECU’s Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant has two main goals:

•    the development of department-specific and university-wide written  
      comprehensive plans for utilizing institutional effectiveness planning and
      assessment mechanisms to enhance student learning, and

•    the development of targeted department-specific, assessment-based teaching
      and learning and student services strategies to improve student persistence,
      retention, and graduation. 

This Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant is a critical component of ECU’s comprehensive plan to develop the University’s ability to more effectively respond to students’ academic barriers as a means of achieving its goals at the institution-wide and department-specific levels.  The focus of this work is to increase the timeliness, scope, and effectiveness of targeted academic interventions and support services, and to put assessment at the forefront of addressing retention, completion, and graduation.

To view ECU’s grant abstract, please click here.

Highlights of the Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant include: 

Business Process Review
ECU’s Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant is allowing ECU to establish a formal process and structure for regular business process review.

Knowledge Management
Funds from Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant have been used to create a comprehensive Enterprise Knowledge Management System to provide the data and information needed to make decisions in support of student success.

Think/Value/Communicate/Lead
The Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant core faculty, made up of representatives from several ECU colleges, focused efforts on designing an assessment tool to document and measure the student experience at ECU using four core competencies:  Think, Value, Communicate, and Lead (TVCL).  This assessment tool, the TVCL Matrix, is a flexible solution for faculty to clearly state what an ECU student in a course, program, or college should reflect in terms of thinking skills, values, effective communication and leadership.

DegreeWorks
Working in conjunction with the University Registrar’s Office, funds from the Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant have been used to begin to establish a student success and support structure to review and to issue regular reports on course scheduling as it relates to whether courses required for graduation are offered on a timely basis and with an adequate number of sections and seats.  ECU is currently updating its classroom scheduling policy and developing processes and systems to fully leverage the DegreeWorks system, a computerized degree audit program and academic advising tool designed to assist students and advisors in planning and managing progress towards degree attainment.

If you have any questions or comments about ECU’s Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant programs, please contact:
Dr. Fiona Baxter, Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant Principle Investigator, baxterf@ecu.edu
James Blalock, Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant Project Manager, blalockj@ecu.edu