Title III – Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) Grant

EWU’s goal is to provide proactive, holistic, wrap around support services to every student based on individual need,  all with the ultimate goal of ensuring that students persist and graduate.

Program Description

The program helps eligible Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) to become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.

Types of Projects

Funds may be used for planning, faculty development, and establishing endowment funds. Administrative management, and the development and improvement of academic programs also are supported. Other projects include joint use of instructional facilities, construction and maintenance, and student service programs designed to improve academic success, including innovative, customized, instruction courses designed to help retain students and move the students rapidly into core courses and through program completion, which may include remedial education and English language instruction .

-Retrieved from the US Department of Education

EWU’s Title III Project

EWU was awarded funding for a Title III Project in October 2020. The Project is housed with the Degree Completion Team as part of the Center for Academic Advising and Retention or CAAR. At EWU, the Project helps to shape the Student Success Collaborative (SSC) which will connect university student resources in order to identify barriers to student success and coordinate cross-campus support to help students navigate successfully past them. This is a deeply collaborative project including stakeholders from across the Eastern campus. 

What is this Collaborative? At Eastern, the Student Success Collaborative is made up of interconnected and mutually supportive networks of human talent and consistent and clear processes connected and supported by a robust platform of leading-edge technologies.  

In this case, the human talent network includes faculty advisors, professional advisors, and all professional staff from  across campus including but not limited to financial services, the career center, housing, tutoring and writing services, and physical and mental health services.  

These units utilize consistent processes and proactive approaches and are in alignment with best practices in student  support and embody a “student first” approach.  

The technology is in the form of a multi-platform student success management system (SSMS), the staff- and student facing platform – Navigate. The synergy created by the technologically-boosted collaboration of the faculty and staff at EWU in the is the embodiment of the axiom that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  

EWU’s goal is to provide proactive, holistic, wrap around support services to every student based on individual need,  all with the ultimate goal of ensuring that students persist and graduate.

The SSC will bring together all divisions of the university to help students complete their degree in a timely manner and feel fully supported in every aspect of their experience at EWU. 

Primary project components include:

  • Implementation and management of Navigate Student and Navigate Academic Planner
  • Enhancement of Faculty Advisor development
  • Creation of a financial peer-mentoring program
  • Development of EWU’s Early Warning and referral system
  • Launch of the Faculty Champions program
  • and more!

The concept of coordinating the academic support for students in an individualized and customized manner is a natural adoption of “care coordination” including case management and triage-type practices found in the health care field. University students, like health care patients, have varying and specialized concerns or difficulties. Applying the right  response, at the correct level of intensity, at the right time, by the right person allows limited resources to have a positive impact on the largest number of students. Further, this creates an environment where staff are more often able  to bring their specialized skills to each student encounter and to share expertise and best practices with each other across units.

Student Success Collaborative Advisory Council

By its very nature, the SSC is comprehensive, touching nearly every unit and department across the EWU campus. This means the implementation of this strategy must also be comprehensive to ensure success. The creation of the SSC Advisory Council ensures that the implementation of this project is comprehensive as it will include a representative from all major university areas.

The Advisory Council will be the vehicle for input and collaboration during the period of grant funding to ensure adequate communication, participation, and commitment of the major units and departments involved in the project. Ongoing input and feedback will be generated by the Council regarding the effectiveness of the SSC.

The Degree Completion Team

The Degree Completion team work tirelessly to implement this grant project! Have questions?