Title III, Part A, Strengthening Institutions Program Grant 2013

A five-year Title III grant for $1.86 million, active from 2013-2018, was awarded to Lake Superior State University by the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions Program.  This Title III grant was used to support programs and resources to enhance faculty teaching and strengthen student advising. The grant funds were used to improve and strengthen academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability, and to build projects and programs to help students complete their degrees.

Key Overall Title III Goals for the Institution:

The university targeted the following key goals to address student retention and completion challenges:

  1.  Improve the success rates of LSSU’s First Year Students
  2.  Identify and remove policies and procedures that unnecessarily act as barriers to degree completion
  3.  Improve cost efficiency in use of Learning Management System (LMS)

Five strategies were implemented to address these goals with Title III funding:

  1.  A Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning (CETAL) was established to provide faculty development in teaching and in advising.
  2.  Advising support for students and faculty was provided through the development of a strong resource repository at CETAL, with books, training DVDs, and online mentoring resources from Magna Mentor and Magna Commons.
  3.  The structural move to establish the Student Learning Commons  on the main floor of the Shouldice Library has enhanced learning and student engagement with highly visible tutoring access and opportunities for shared experiences.
  4.  A systematic analysis of “momentum points” identified barriers to students’ progression towards  degree completion. The resulting information helped to direct changes to policies and procedures at LSSU that may have presented unnecessary barriers to student success.
  5.  The LMS changeover to open-source “Moodle” helped cut costs, allowing LSSU to redirect funds to student learning success efforts in other areas.

Performance indicators included increased retention rates, faculty involvement in Communities of Practice (COP), improved classroom technology, enhanced advising, increased access to peer mentors, more cost effective learning management system and increased graduation rates.

LSSU Learning Commons: Students working at the Whiteboard Wall.
FCT teaching resource: Huddleboards being used in a biology class
FCT: staff professional development session
LSSU Learning Commons: student group work at large screen computer station
LSSU Learning Commons: student presentations
FCT: staff professional development session
FCT: faculty working on grades