Department of Education Awards IU Title III Grant
The U.S. Department of Education awarded Immaculata University a Title III grant as part of its Strengthening Institutions Program. The grant will help fund Immaculata´s efforts to improve student retention and career guidance by strengthening academic and career development services, expanding co-curricular activities, creating learning communities, and offering additional professional development for faculty, staff, and administrators.
"I am pleased that Immaculata will have the opportunity to make its academic support and career services even better through this grant," said Sister Ann M. Heath, IHM, Ph.D., vice president for Academic Affairs. "We look forward to using these additional resources to help guide students as they pursue their vocations."
Immaculata´s grant application explains that in the past six years, the University´s College of Undergraduate Studies more than doubled its enrollment, primarily due to the admission of male full-time undergraduate students beginning in 2005. This dramatic increase has outpaced the ongoing development of existing student support structures.
After conducting a thorough analysis of its challenges and needs, the University proposed a comprehensive effort involving three components. First, Immaculata intends to create the Pathways Center, a new centralized infrastructure that will integrate and enhance its academic advising, academic support, and academic enrichment services. Second, Immaculata will strengthen its career services and co-curricular experiences by helping students create electronic career portfolios, expanding first year and sophomore year career planning programs, hosting career speakers and workshops, offering more internship opportunities, creating a Senior Transition Conference to help students plan the next steps in their careers, and developing residential special interest learning communities. Third, Immaculata will offer more extensive professional development for faculty, staff, and administrators to help students plan their academic schedules, complete their degrees, and understand the career opportunities in their fields.
Through its Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP), the Department of Education awarded Immaculata $399,833 for the first year, with a projected total of approximately $1.9 million during the five-year grant. Sister Ann Heath, IHM, Ph.D., will oversee the three components of the project, ensuring that the University meets its goals for increasing student retention, decreasing the number of students on academic probation, increasing participation in academic enrichment activities, and increasing the number of students who declare a major by the end of their freshman year.
"The Strengthening Institutions Program is an exciting opportunity for the University to add new programs and coordinate all student services," said Sister M. Carroll Isselmann, IHM, Ed.D., R.D., L.D.N., director of strategic initiatives at Immaculata. "The most important outcome of these new initiatives will be the synergistic impact resulting in student success."
Immaculata University is a residential, Catholic, coeducational institution of higher education, located on the Main Line between Malvern and Exton, 20 miles west of Philadelphia.