Metro State Awarded $1.8 million Grant In Support of Low-Income Students
Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705
Posted: October 7, 2010
(Denver, Colo.) — Metropolitan State College of Denver has been awarded a five-year $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education to expand its capacity to serve low-income students.
Under the grant program, the College will use the funding in two primary areas, academic support services and establishing a framework for the formation of a School of Education. Metro State is the only Colorado public institution to be awarded U.S. Department of Education “Strengthening Institutions” grant supporting low-income students.
“The grant team was diligent in identifying key needs and growth opportunities, while establishing targeted goals and objectives to move Metro State forward,” says Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Vicki Golich. “The College is thrilled we secured this grant, and it could not have come at a better time.”
“As state higher education appropriations decline, external funding sources become increasingly important,” says Executive Director of the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs Gwendolyn Mami. “The grant process has become increasingly competitive, proposals must clearly articulate with a sound and measurable implementation strategy.”
Areas for enhanced academic support will focus on improving enrollment, retention and graduation of under-served populations. Elements within the program address systemic technology needed to more effectively track admissions and student retention through the use of new management software, which will be combined with faculty and staff training.
“Implementing these new systems will facilitate better targeted communication to groups of students, while tracking their interactions with advisors in order to identify potential risk factors,” says Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs for Curriculum and Assessment Sheila Thompson.
“With the formation of a School of Education, Metro State can establish a dedicated support structure to enhance its teacher education programs,” says Golich. “As one of the top producers of teachers in Colorado, this change will allow the College to respond to market demands while better addressing student needs.”
Grant resources will also be earmarked to support expanded enrollment in teacher licensure preparation, while supporting retention of and graduation from Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines. Additional focus will be given to the College’s special education program with specific measures targeted at under-represented groups.
“With the implementation of this new Banner Relationship Management Model, we will be able to take advising to an entirely new level,” says Director of the Academic Advising Center Ned Muhovich. “With the College’s tremendous growth in recent years, these new tools will be critical in allowing the College to fulfill its mission as an urban land-grant institution.”
Dean of the School of Professional Studies Sandra Haynes adds that the formation of a stand-alone School of Education will provide the administrative structure that the department needs to effectively manage its complex role, which involves complying with regulations from the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, the legislature and accrediting bodies.
“We serve 10 percent of the student body at any time (in teacher education),” Haynes said. “There are at least six disciplines within the education department. It’s a very complex department, and the autonomy of being a stand-alone school will help us deal with that complexity better.”
Many initial aspects of the five-year grant are focused on research and planning, but others will come to life when Metro State’s Student Success Building opens in 2012.
About Metropolitan State College of Denver
With more than 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans. Starting in the fall of 2010, the College is offering master’s degrees in accounting and teacher education, with plans to offer a master’s in social work in fall 2011. The College enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 67,500 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.