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NW-SCC receives $2M federal education grant

Northwest-Shoals Community College has been awarded a grant of more than $2 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III – Strengthening Institutions Program.

The grant, which will be disbursed over a five-year period beginning October 2016, will be used to upgrade the college’s technology infrastructure and improve student retention.

“We could not be more excited about receiving the Title III (SIP) grant,” said NW-SCC President Humphrey Lee. “Technology is everything this day and age. Everyone in postsecondary education is working to improve their student success rates, and without improving and upgrading your technology in the classroom, on-campus and online, it is virtually impossible to do so.”

According to Dr. Timmy James, associate dean of instructional programs, one of the major reasons NW-SCC applied for the SIP grant was because of the new culture of students who prefer online over traditional classes. “We have a number of students who prefer eLearning and the flexibility it affords them in their day-to-day lives,” said James. “Unfortunately, the college’s technology infrastructure is inadequate to support the growth. These funds could not have come at a better time.”

Aside from technology infrastructure upgrades, NW-SCC plans to enhance student success and engagement through the Student Success Center and a Career Development Center. Also, the addition of virtual advising, peer mentors, early alert systems and online support will be essential to student success.

SIP is 100 percent federally-funded by the U.S. Department of Education.