STU one of seven colleges selected nationwide for projects to enhance college completion and career readiness
USA Funds announced its selection of St. Thomas University (STU) as one of seven institutions nationwide that will share nearly $2.3 million in grants, with the goal of enhancing the college completion rates and career readiness of first-generation, low-income and minority students. The $325,000 grant for STU’s D.R.I.V.E. program (Developing Relevant Indices for Viable Employment) will provide a cohort of entering students with four years of career-oriented education and training, an individualized plan to foster college completion and career readiness, and the support of a professional coach and mentor.
“STU is honored to be selected as one of only seven outstanding higher education institutions to receive the USA Funds grant,” said STU President Monsignor Franklyn Casale. “As a globally diverse institution we are always striving for opportunities that add value to our students’ education and provide additional resources for our first generation students to graduate and be employed at graduation.”
As part of the initiative, each school will benefit from a designated "data coach," who will assist the institution in the creation of user-friendly, customized data tools. Each institution also will designate an "innovation group," which includes STU’s Provost/Chief Academic Officer, the Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, the Associate Provost for Student Success, the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, the Associate Director of Career Services, and one employer-partner. STU’s innovation groups will participate in an annual meeting to share best practices and foster collaboration between leadership and faculty among the seven participating colleges and universities.
The grants are part of a three-year MSI Measuring College Value initiative designed to support two-year and four-year minority-serving colleges and universities. Other grant recipients include: Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis; Martin University in Indianapolis; Miami Dade College; Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana; Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi; and Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.
"Throughout its history, USA Funds has worked to enhance higher education opportunities and success for students of color, lower-income students, and those who were the first in their family to attend college," said William D. Hansen, USA Funds president and CEO. "Building on that legacy, these grants will promote a surer path toward a college degree and a smoother transition to successful careers and fulfilling lives for minority students."