M State awarded $2M grant for student support and equity efforts

September 22, 2022

Minnesota State Community and Technical College has been awarded over $2 million in Title III grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education for services, programs and faculty training opportunities designed to enhance student support services and facilitate greater student success.

The grant award of $2,035,678 was announced this week and will be dispersed over a five-year period beginning in October.

The funds are targeted at M State’s STEER project (Striving Toward Equitable Engagement and Retention), an effort to address achievement gaps and increase student enrollment, engagement and retention rates, especially among BIPOC and part-time student populations.

Much of the funding will go toward personnel salaries and benefits, the hire of new student/peer mentors, professional development, website upgrades, student giveaways, student enrichment programming, and internships and work-based learning opportunities.

As written in the grant proposal, M State will:

  • Develop Student Success Centers to provide “concierge” services to students, including career readiness, supportive services for basic student needs, new student orientations and first year experience programming.
  • Enhance educational support in fundamental gateway courses.
  • Conduct targeted professional development to high-impact practices, transformative advising and increased cultural awareness and competency.

“This grant award is very good news for M State and our students,” said M State President Carrie Brimhall. “The funding will allow us to do more to support our students in their academic, career and life pursuits, improving their odds of success both in and outside of the academic world. It will also help us make strides in our ongoing effort to reduce equity gaps for students of color and first-generation, low-income and indigenous students.”

The Title III grant program aims to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability of higher education institutions by providing funds to help them become more self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students. Title III funds may be used for a wide variety of purposes and projects, such as faculty development, improvement of academic and student service programs, facilities construction and maintenance, and more.

As a member of the Minnesota State system, M State serves more than 7,000 students in credit courses each year in more than 70 career and liberal arts programs online and at its campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena. By partnering with communities, the college also provides workforce development services and other responsive training programs.