US Education Department Grants $2.1 Million Fund to Cameron University to Found Center for At-Risk Students

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The US Department of Education has offered a $2.1 million grant to Cameron University (CU), as a part of the Department’s Strengthening Institutions program, in a bid to establish a success-focused office at CU’s campus within the next five years.

According to Erudera.com, the program aims to enhance higher education academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability by financially supporting universities and colleges and helping them become self-sufficient and expand capacity to serve traditionally underrepresented student populations.

The UC’s Academic Affairs Vice President, Marge Kingsley, will be supervising the project by retaining responsibilities and making sure the practices and improvements will be implemented in compliance with Cameron’s grant proposal.

“As part of Cameron University’s continuing commitment to student success, we recognized that the Strengthening Institutions program could make a significant impact on the university’s ability to provide wrap-around services to at-risk and underrepresented students,” Kingsley said.

Cameron University’s Student Enrichment Center intends to help students by offering resources for them to complete college degrees, by increasing persistence and completion rates, and by promoting the number of full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students. It also intends to raise the number of students with work-based experiences aligning to in-demand industry sectors.

The Center will also assist with resources to build personal knowledge, understanding, and responsibility in the field of finance, aspiring to offer the right tools for students to thrive as self-employed.

The grant will assist CU with another nine Center employees. The coordinator of Student Success/Title III Director will be the head of the Center, who will serve as the chief liaison between the US Department of Education and Cameron University.

Out of nine, four individuals, preferably student success coaches, will work individually with at-risk students to ensure their academic success. A community resource coordinator will work with underrepresented students and grant them access to community resources as needed, including food stamp applications, housing issues, and other non-academic issues.

A coordinator will direct the “CU Learn to Earn” program, which is designed to provide work-based learning experiences for at-risk students. A financial resources specialist will establish workshops on financial literacy and will provide personal financial counseling to at-risk students. In addition, the Center will also hire an administrative assistant to organize all necessary duties.

Previously, this program awarded Gateway Technical College $2.25 million to further strengthen the college’s efforts in areas like advising, first-year experience, work-based learning programs as well as other areas.

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