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ECU receives $2 million grant to improve student achievement

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Oct. 12, 2010)   —   East Carolina University has been awarded a five-year, $2 million federal grant aimed at boosting student achievement and graduation rates.

The $400,000 annual grant from the U.S. Department of Education will fund ECU’s efforts to collect student data and use it at the department, college and university levels to improve retention and graduation rates.

“Collecting, analyzing and evaluating student data informs our decision-making processes on campus,” said David Weismiller, associate provost for Institutional Planning, Assessment and Research. “Those informed decisions will focus on effective student success strategies.”

ECU was one of 48 higher education institutions to receive grants through the federal Office of Postsecondary Education’s “Strengthening Institutions” program.

"The President has set a goal that America will once again lead the world in college completion by the end of this decade," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. "These grants will support institutions serving low-income students as they work to increase college completion rates to help our country meet the President's goal."

The grant will be administered through the Office of Institutional Planning, Assessment and Research. The principal investigator is Fiona Baxter, director of institutional planning.

Under the grant program, colleges and universities may use the money for a variety of purposes, including faculty development, establishing an endowment, and improving academic programs.

For more information about about ECU’s planning, assessment and research efforts, visit To learn more about the “Strengthening Institutions” program, visit


Contact: Fiona Baxter or David Weismiller | 252-328-9492