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Morris Earns Continuation College Success Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation

Posted by Jenna Ray on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014


The 2013–14 outcomes of the Morris College Success Program (MCSP) have earned the University of Minnesota, Morris a College Success continuation grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. During the 2014–15 academic year the grant will support tutoring, advising, mentoring, and counseling—services proven to help at-risk students stay on track to graduate.

The campus received a Great Lakes College Success grant for MCSP in August 2013. In year two the program will serve an additional 35 students, for a total of 80. While much of the program, which includes individual success plans, master advisers, and peer mentors, will remain the same, it now will include a fall retreat, enabling students to connect to one another and to program staff early in the year.

Research shows that students who are placed on academic probation during their freshman year are up to 82 percent less likely to graduate in five years than those who aren’t. This is especially true for students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, and students who are first in their families to attend college. Identifying at-risk students early and connecting them with existing support services can have a life-changing effect, helping them stay in school and complete their certificates or degrees.

“This program shows what we can achieve in the retention and persistence of students from underrepresented backgrounds when so many campus partners collaborate,” says Hilda Ladner, assistant to the chancellor for equity and diversity. “One-hundred percent of the students who started the program in the fall 2013 semester returned in the spring. Early indicators for fall-to-fall retention and persistence also look promising.”

Morris was one of 16 organizations invited by Great Lakes to build upon its success in strengthening students’ connections with their campus, peers, faculty, and staff. Its MCSP program begins in the fall 2014 semester and runs through the academic year.

Great Lakes College Success continuation grants, totaling $2.7 million, were awarded to two-year, four-year, and technical colleges in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. A total of 3,835 undergraduate students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, and students who are first in their family to attend college will benefit from support services during the 2014–15 academic year. This grant is just one way Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation works to achieve its goal of helping more students benefit from their investment in higher education and graduate ready to reach their full potential.

About Great Lakes and Community Investments
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates helps millions of students pay for college and repay their student loans. Through Community Investments, Great Lakes leads initiatives and funds programs that help students from traditionally underserved backgrounds start and complete a two- or four-year degree or other credential. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed in excess of $100 million in funding to programs that share these goals. For additional information, visit community.mygreatlakes.org.