Cape Fear Community College was awarded a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the largest grant the school has ever received.
The Title III grant will be used for staffing and equipment to assist students, according to a news release Tuesday. The school has already received its first payment of $396,518, with the rest of the money to be funded over the next four years.
The initial installment will be used to hire additional staff and purchase software that helps identify and track students who may need help.
The college plans on hiring more staff, including a grant director, academic advising staff and academic coaches with the grant funds. It will focus on increasing academic coaching for students who are struggling with their studies, providing a financial literacy program and assisting with degree planning.
Grant funds will be applied to improve students’ retention, academic achievement and degree completion with the objective of increasing the number of credentials awarded, according to the release.
“Cape Fear Community College is committed to helping all our students reach their academic goals,” said Jim Morton, president of CFCC, in the release. “This grant will help us to more effectively advise our students, and to identify and assist those who are struggling so that they can make the necessary adjustments to become successful and to persist through to graduation.”
The U.S. Department of Education Title III grant is awarded to institutions that have at least 50 percent of its degree students receiving need-based assistance or have a substantial number of students receiving Pell Grants, according to the department’s website.
The grant aims to help higher education institutions with becoming self-sufficient and expanding their capacity to serve low-income students, according to the agency.
The grant will be a benefit for the student services team, Morton said in the release.
“Our dedicated staff works tirelessly to help our students succeed and this funding will allow us to expand those efforts and improve our current practices,” he said. “This grant award will not only support our current students but will impact student success for years to come.”