Cape Cod Community College Monday welcomed Congressman Bill Keating to campus for a very important announcement. The Congressman was at the school to announce United States Department of Education Title III funding to the tune of $2.2 million for the school. The grant monies will be distributed over five years, roughly $445,000 per year.
During his address, Congressman Keating said the funds will "assist the college in helping those in most jeopardy as they enter higher education: those in the lower income segments of society, those least prepared to undertake college level courses and those need on-going tutoring and academic counseling to ensure timely progress toward program completion."
The grant will fund the school's new Project SAIL (Success through Advising and Interactive Learning), according to Cape Cod Community College President John Cox. Project SAIL, according to Cox, will specifically "address increasing our students retention, graduation and transfer rates by focusing on improving progress from developmental math education to college level courses. Project SAIL will add an even stronger component of active and collaborative learning to campus with a focus on workforce needs."
Title Funding III is available to public colleges and universities across the nation. Title III (Institutional Aid) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 funds schools that serve low-income and minority students. The purpose of Title III is "to assist such institutions in equalizing educational opportunity through a program of federal assistance". Cape Cod Community College was one of 26 institutions of higher education in Massachusetts eligible to apply for funding. The national application process for the funding is highly competitive. The grants allow public schools to make large scale improvements that would not be possible through their own budgets.
The purpose of Project SAIL is to increase the retention of first time students, increase the number of students who complete an AA/AS degree or certificate, increase the number of students who transfer from Cape Cod Community College to a four-year college or university and improve the number of students who progress from developmental to college level math, according to a release from the school. Administrators hope to achieve these goals by streamlining and improving a variety of student services including admissions, assessment and academic advising. More support for low-income students will also be put in place.
"The US Department of Education has recognized our proposal and our strategy to achieve our goals--and Congressman Keating and his colleagues are committing the resources to ensure we will be successful in serving our students," Cox said. "This is about a shift in strengthening our student services and academic programs, how we address the momentum points in the college experience."
The college will use the grant funds to "redesign foundational level course curriculum and supports, increase related faculty professional development, add opportunities for active and collaborative student learning, improve course scheduling and ensure appropriate student placement after intake assessment". These changes are intended to increase the number of students who "progress through their course program in a timely fashion, graduate and transfer," the release said.