By Brian Benedetti, Director of Marketing & Communications
LAKEWOOD, WASH. – Pierce College learned this week it has been awarded a $1.8 million, five-year U.S. Department of Education Title III “Strengthening Institutions Program” grant. The funds will help support the college’s efforts to improve student success, with a particular focus on low-income students.
“There is so much we need and want to do to provide more support for students who struggle academically. We have strong commitment across the district to improve student outcomes, and we’ve taken some big steps this year. This grant lets us move to a new level,” says Dr. Michele L. Johnson, chancellor of Pierce College. “Ultimately, the funds will result in more Pierce County students completing degrees in a timely manner.
Johnson said that she is “thrilled” by the grant award. According to Johnson, the college community has been working hard on developing a research-based plan for helping more students succeed and on collecting and using data so that the plan can be continually improved. This intensive planning led to the successful grant application. The funding will be used for new and innovative curriculum development, additional integration of teaching technology, and to create enhanced faculty and student engagement opportunities.
The Pierce College District services a highly mobile and diverse population. As the largest institution of higher education in the county, the district is charged with serving residents in a 1000 square mile area.
Congratulations came from as far away as Washington, D.C., where Sen. Patty Murray was quick to recognize what the grant award will mean to Pierce and its students.
“This is a critical investment for Pierce College and the students they serve, including many veterans, service members and their families,” says Sen. Murray. “I applaud the Department of Education for this investment, which together with private dollars, leverages resources to promote student completion and success in Pierce County.”