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Morris Earns Two College Success Grants from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation

Posted by Jenna Ray on Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2014

The remarkable outcomes of the Morris College Success Program have earned the University of Minnesota, Morris two College Success grants from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. During the 2014–15 academic year, a $208,013 continuation grant will provide tutoring, advising, mentoring, and counseling, services proven to help at-risk students stay on track to graduate. An additional $184,944 grant will enhance the campus’s existing alert process to increase identification, referrals, and support for targeted at-risk freshmen.

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 Morris College Success Program received a Great Lakes College Success grant in August 2013. Under that grant, more students overcame obstacles to college completion. Morris will enhance its existing program for even greater results in keeping students enrolled and on track academically, socially, and financially.

“This program shows what we can achieve in the retention and persistence of students from underrepresented backgrounds when so many campus partners collaborate,” said 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.”

The campus will also implement a new Alert Partners Leading to University Success (AlertPLUS) project, which will modify and enhance the campus’s existing early alert protocol. AlertPLUS will increase academic alert staffing and faculty alert identification of at-risk freshmen as well as strengthen academic alert protocols and build capacity to better support first-year students.

“The support provided through the AlertPLUS program will allow Morris the opportunity to expand upon the great student support initiatives and student outcomes already being achieved on our campus,” said Jennifer Zych Herrmann, associate director of the Office of Academic Success. “The vision of increased persistence and college graduation rates for students who are underrepresented in higher education is one we share with Great Lakes, and we are proud of this partnership.”

“Moving students toward greater opportunity in life benefits us all,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ president and chief executive officer. “We fund programs that understand the root cause of what holds students back, and take bold steps to overcome these obstacles. We look forward to seeing the impact Morris can have on helping more students graduate and achieve their full potential.”

Great Lakes College Success grants were awarded to two- and four-year colleges, universities, and community and technical colleges across Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The 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