Published on March 7th, 2014 | by editor0
Rising Tides – Title V at Wright College
Wilbur Wright College was awarded a Title V grant in July 2012. The key goals of the grant are to improve success for first-year and at-risk students, to improve faculty skills in identifying and supporting these students, and to facilitate faculty efforts to incorporate active and collaborative learning opportunities in their teaching.
Title V grants are reserved for Hispanic serving institutions, like Wright College, providing initial start-up funds for programs then sustained by the institution. Our approach to this five-year grant begins in the basic idea that rising tides lift all boats: If we improve key academic and support programs, Hispanic students will benefit, especially with pedagogies and approaches proven to work well for this population.
The grant encompasses programs and themes already in place prior to the award. However, now we have new resources to help support these programs while continuing to honor these much-valued themes. Key programs in existence prior to the grant include:
- Learning Communities
- Math On Demand
- Wright in Your Corner (WiYC)
- Articulation agreement with Northeastern
- College Readiness Initiative
- Writing Center
New programs—much in the air before the grant but now supported by the grant—include:
- Skills Connection
- Embedded Tutoring
- SuccessNavigator and the holistic placement project
- Center for Teaching and Learning
Informing much of this work is a new appreciation in higher education for the whole student. Instead of focusing on issues that students cannot control, such as socio-economic background, educators empower students to own their own learning by emphasizing factors they can control, like time-management and soft skills. The SuccessNavigator plays a central role in this area by helping students, advisors, teachers, and staff share common vocabulary and understandings around non-cognitive skills.
Title V also draws various units and offices together to discuss and collaborate on grant projects. Wright in Your Corner is key to these collaborations as a centrally-located program bringing faculty, staff and students together to further all stakeholders’ goals. The Center for Teaching and Learning, first launched through an AQIP strategic forum, offers lively, informative workshops designed by and for faculty and staff.
Moreover, through the AQIP Steering Committee, which has overlapping membership with Title V committees, groups come together to address important questions like: What do we mean by “College Readiness” and how can we best support it? If we know that the students who need the most help tend to be the ones who don’t seek it, how can we bring support services to them?
The Title V award connects with Reinvention goals in several ways, including: helping students move more quickly out of remediation, and helping smooth the transition from high school to college and from Wright to transfer opportunities. As a timely infusion of resources, Title V lends key support to new and existing programs—much to the benefit of the college, the community, and, most importantly, the students we are privileged to serve.
Look for news and updates about the Title V grant and the programs it supports in future Wright College Net blog postings.
Contributor: William Marsh, Ph.D., Professor and Wright College Title V Faculty Liaison