IU South Bend receives $2 million grant to increase graduation rates among low income, at-risk students

Students discuss a group project.

Indiana University South Bend has received a federal boost to help low-income and at-risk students earn a college degree.

The Department of Education awarded IU South Bend a $2.1 million Strengthening Institutions Program Grant, which will cover more than 73% of the costs to support a five-year project that will take a learning community approach to student success.

IU South Bend’s project will help the campus:

  • Increase retention of low-income (Pell-eligible) and underrepresented students (African American and LatinX)
  • Improve student achievement in key gateway courses and eliminate achievement gaps
  • Increase 4- and 6-year graduation rates to be more equitable among all IU South Bend undergraduate students

“Leadership, faculty, and staff from across the university collaboratively worked on applying for this grant, and that strong collaboration across every unit on campus will continue as we begin to implement this project,” said Chancellor Susan Elrod. “Our team is unified around our goals to increase retention and graduation outcomes, thereby improving student success, which will provide more graduates to fuel our economy, teach in our schools, work as health professionals, serve as community leaders, and create a thriving culture.”

The grant will address IU South Bend’s goals by supporting several evidence-based activities. The college will establish an early intervention effort to integrate academic and student services through case management, enhanced faculty interaction, and peer support.

It also will support several new Titan Team Leaders who will receive training in case management and will ultimately provide support to several small groups of beginning undergraduate students called Titan Teams. The campus will increase success rates in math, science, and English gateway courses using tutoring, supplemental instruction, peer mentors, and collaborative learning.

The university also will create an Office of Professional Engagement to increase and support workplace experiences.


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