Alverno College Awarded Title III Grant to Support Student Retention and Graduation
Alverno College has been awarded a prestigious Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education to integrate and strengthen key advising functions and to develop three new health care programs for in-demand fields.
The Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) for “Alverno PACS: Proactive Advising for Career Success” is for $1.78 million over five years. Key outcomes include increasing student retention and graduation rates for low-income and first-generation students.
“It’s extremely gratifying to receive this significant and competitive grant,” said Alverno President Andrea Lee, IHM. “Alverno has long been a leader in providing higher education access to first-generation, low-income students and to students of color in our region. We know that each student’s unique personal responsibilities, cultural and family traditions, financial circumstances, and academic trajectories are interdependent, rarely fitting neatly into standard pre-packaged pathways. This grant will result in immediate, lasting impact on student retention and graduation and will open additional robust career opportunities for students.”
The plan includes five primary activities:
- Connect key advising and career development functions, infuse career exploration in academic planning and employ best practices in mentoring students of color.
- Expand the use of student planning and mapping, standardize and update academic maps, and individualize student graduation plans to ensure that all students receive effective academic guidance during their college experience.
- Employ a financial coach to expand financial education resources for students and their families.
- Employ a health care career advising specialist to design and implement career exploration activities and work-based learning experiences so students interested in health care can make informed choices about majors and career paths.
- Develop and launch three new health care degree programs, among them a two-year allied health Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program.
The Alverno PACS program will support every element of the college’s strategic plan, helping more students advance to high-demand fields and diversifying the Milwaukee-area workforce. Alverno is one of Wisconsin’s most diverse and inclusive four-year colleges. Nearly half of Alverno’s students identify as a person of color, with 14 percent of them identifying as Black or African American. Alverno was the first Wisconsin higher education institution designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution.
In August, Alverno launched the Thea Bowman Institute for Excellence and Leadership, a program designed to serve Black women through academic and leadership programming. This follows the May launch of a scholarship program in partnership with the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee designed to support the education of Hispanic students.
“With our history of strong, individualized instruction and focus on access and success, Alverno is uniquely positioned to improve the upward mobility of low-income women in the Midwest and to provide diverse professionals equipped to thrive and lead Wisconsin’s most critical workforce sectors,” said Kate Lundeen, MPP, the college’s vice president for enrollment services.
Published on October 20, 2020 | Categories: press release