Lynn Lee, project director for the grant, received news of the report from LaTonya Brown, Title III program officer. Brown says the project was selected because of its “successful innovative strategies.” The grant is in its last year, and she says, has already ”surpassed most of the proposed goals … of the grant period.”
The grant was selected for honors from annual performance reports and communication with Lynn Lee, project director for the grant.
“It has been recognized that such great accomplishments have been met by way of Title III, and the grant effort has superceded all expectations of the title project: Enhancing Access, Performance, and Persistence for Disadvantaged Students,” Brown said.
The report lauded the efforts of Lee and his Title III team for helping disadvantaged students attain academic success including graduation/completion rates, and transfer of disadvantaged students to four-year colleges or universities.
Other areas praised in the report centered on the project’s use of technology to “enhance services for disadvantaged students, and their access and use of technology.”
The report cites a 48 percent increase in grade-point-average among disadvantaged students in the project service area. Currently, 67 percent of the students have attained a minimum 2.40 GPA when the objective of the grant was to have 50 percent of the students reach that level.
The graduation rate among the disadvantaged student group has increased 121 percent, going from 28 to 62 percent. The goal was 40 percent.
Of the 173 students completing programs and certificates in the reporting year, 63 transferred to four-year college or university programs, for a transfer rate of 64 percent.
Other areas highlighted in the report were access and use of technology by faculty, staff, and students. The use of technology and interactive multimedia among faculty and staff increased from a baseline of 23 percent to 96 percent. All of the disadvantaged students had Internet access in addition to classrooms and labs equipped with computerized tutorial education programs.
According to the report, the Title III grant helped increase enrollment of disadvantage students from a baseline of 185 to 245 students, a 55 percent increase. Much of that increase was attributed to three outreach centers funded by the grant. Enrollment of minority students, primarily Native American, increased from 50 to 58 percent.
The report also credits the project as a catalyst for cooperation among local, state, and federal agencies to improve distance education technology infrastructure.
Those improvements include increased bandwidth and conversion from analog to digital transmission technology to increase the number of courses that can be programmed for distance delivery. Prior to the Title III initiative, CEU-SJC had six distance education delivery sites with 15 classrooms. That has grown to 15 sites with 48 points of delivery.
The Department of Education also praised the project for successful efforts to secure ongoing legislative funding for outreach centers and for organizing an extended partnership among area agencies and schools to support an “educational pathway” from adult education to a college degree.
Lynn Lee says the positive report is just the latest chapter in a long history of support from the U.S. Department of Education. “The San Juan Campus has been the beneficiary of Title III funding since it was established in 1977. The very existence of the Campus can be attributed to their support.
“They have awarded numerous grants to the Campus. Perhaps the most significant was a $4 million Title III Endowment Challenge Grant awarded in 1991, that has grown into a scholarship endowment in excess of $15 million.”
That endowment, Lee says, has helped hundreds of San Juan County residents and Native American students attend CEU-SJC. “This recognition,” Lee added, “is deemed a distinct honor, not just for the San Juan Campus, but for the entire College of Eastern Utah community.”