Title V Grant
WCC received a Title V grant, awarding the college 2.7 million dollars over a 5 year period that will be used to invest in the student body. The funds will be used for improved technologies, increased support services, and the establishment of a new department: the Office of First Year Students.
Title V is awarded to colleges and universities that have a high Hispanic enrollment. The grant is also known as the “Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program.” WCC was eligible because it met this criteria as well as having a high amount of students who receive federal financial aid through Pell grants. To apply for the grant, WCC laid out a plan for how it will utilize the awarded funds.
With the grant comes a number of objectives and goals that the school will now work to achieve. The main area of focus is to increase the academic success of the student body. This includes higher GPAs, higher graduation rates and higher transfer rates to four year schools. To achieve this, WCC plans on adding a number of academic and transfer counselors.
Additionally, with this grant the school will see the creation of an Office of First Year Students. This new department will assist first time and full time students in their college careers. Students will receive support and assistance with getting their degree from new resources. This will come in the form of academic counseling and peer mentor-ship that will help guide students on their career paths and facilitate transfer to four year schools. This department will also help inform students about some of the various services, programs, and activities that the campus offers.
“It’s really going to create a more welcoming, supportive and traditional college experience for students to have,” said Laurie Miller McNeill, WCC Director of Institutional Advancement.
Part of the Grant will also be used to help improve certain technologies at the school, particularly technologies that will help track students’ progress and grades. This tracking can help alert counselors if students are struggling with classes, or are forgetting to utilize certain services such as transfer services.
“This historic grant provides much needed resources to transform the student experience to meet the real needs of today’s learners. With this tremendous award, we will be able to scale effective high-impact, evidence-based practices to support all students, expand academic support, modernize our approach to counseling and advising, and get students to the credentials they need for the future,” said Dr. Belinda S. Miles, WCC President.
With this grant, WCC will make strides to improve the overall experience of its student body, making a commitment to reaching their next step, whether it be beginning a career or transferring to a bachelor’s program.