Three FLC academic programs received a total of $4.4 million in funding from the Department of Education.
New Academic Hub
FLC will create an innovative academic hub that offers a new vision of integrated academic services with a $1.5 million Title III grant. The Title III program provides grants and related assistance to Native American-serving, nontribal institutions to enable such institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve Native Americans and low-income individuals.
“The new Academic Hub will enable us to be more responsive to the complex picture of student success,” says Michelle Bonanno, senior lecturer of English and director of Peer Education and First-Year Experience. “By centralizing academic support services, we can assist students with their coursework through tutoring and academic coaching while also bolstering their financial literacy and career readiness.”
The Hub will serve the changing needs of students as they progress through their academic careers. First-year students can connect with Peer Educators to gather study strategies and time management skills, or meet with a success coach to create a budget. A sophomore can enroll in an apprenticeship with a local business to gain hands-on experience in their major, and a senior can hone their disciplinary expertise and prepare for graduate school by working in the Hub as a Teaching Assistant and Peer Educator.
“Mirroring the success of Skyhawk Station, students will see increased centralization of services in the Academic Hub,” says Bonanno. “The capital improvements funded by this grant will solidify Reed Library and the Academic Hub as vibrant, inclusive spaces for teaching and learning. The alignment and centralization of academic support services outlined in this grant also reflect permanent changes in how our academic support staff envision our interactions with students and with one another.”
TRIO Student Success Center
TRIO Student Success Center received $1,637,535 to help fund the retention-based program. The TRIO Student Success Center, founded in 1995, is a comprehensive, individualized, retention-focused program of services that helps participants stay in college, graduate, and pursue post-graduate studies or careers.
“The support TRIO advisors provide to their caseloads is so individualized,” says Jenn Wagnon, director of the TRIO Student Success Center. “We proactively help them address academic, financial, and personal issues before they become impediments to their success.”
Though TRIO students come to FLC with more risk factors, they retain and graduate at higher rates than low-income students, first-generation students, and students with disabilities who don’t join TRIO.
“This funding will give TRIO students access to personalized support that empowers them to set goals, ask for help, and problem-solve — skills they will carry for a long time,” says Wagnon.
TRIO STEM3 received $1,309,440 to help fund the program focused on the retention and graduation of students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). TRIO STEM3, created in 2010, provides eligible STEM students a comprehensive, individualized, retention-focused program of services through graduation and helps them pursue STEM careers and post-graduate studies.
“The continued federal funding of TRIO STEM3 at FLC is a tremendous win for our eligible science majors,” says Timothy Birchard, director of TRIO STEM3. “STEM3 participants are brilliant, dedicated students who have tremendous potential but for a variety of reasons beyond their control have not historically had access to the same educational opportunities and support systems that non-qualifying students generally enjoy. STEM3 works to level the playing field for these students.”
Since the inception of STEM3, the program has consistently met its objectives of increasing the rates of student persistence, good academic standing, and degree completion of participants.
"This funding aligns beautifully with FLC's mission and strategic plan by keeping students at the center of an interconnected web of supports across campus."
“This funding aligns beautifully with FLC's mission and strategic plan by keeping students at the center of an interconnected web of supports across campus,” says Birchard. “Students do their best learning when basic needs are met and they can focus on academic success. Our job is to make sure those needs are met. Thanks to this grant award, we are excited to provide this support for years to come.”