Findlay, Ohio – The University of Findlay recently received an $81,449 College Success Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation for the 2014-2015 academic year. The grant supports interventions that keep at-risk, first-year students on the path to graduation.
With the grant funds, The University of Findlay will expand the support services needed to train peer mentors for at-risk students and hire an additional staff member who will help foster expanded use of the University’s Starfish Early Alert system. Starfish is a retention software that allows faculty and staff members at the University to seamlessly communicate how students are progressing throughout the year. The system is not only used to flag potential at-risk students but also to give kudos to students who are doing well and excelling in their studies.
“We are very pleased to have been selected as a recipient of this grant,” stated Kay Koch, director of the University’s Oiler Success Center. “Identifying at-risk students – those who are earning low grades, dropping classes and continually repeating classes – as soon as possible is critical to helping those students get back on track to earning their degree.”
According to Koch, national research shows that students who are placed on academic probation during their freshman year are up to 82 percent less likely to graduate in five years than those who aren’t. This is especially true for students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, and students who are first in their families to attend college.
“Moving students toward greater opportunity in life benefits us all,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ president and chief executive officer. “We fund programs that understand the root cause of what holds students back, and take bold steps to overcome these obstacles. We look forward to seeing the impact The University of Findlay can have on helping more students graduate and achieve their full potential.”
Great Lakes College Success grants, totaling $2.7 million, were awarded to 19 two- and four-year colleges, universities, and community and technical colleges across Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. A total of 5,280 students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, and students who are first in their families to attend college will benefit from support services during the 2014-2015 academic year.
Knowing that education has the power to change the lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates helps millions of students pay for college and repay their student loans. Through Community Investments, Great Lakes leads initiatives and funds programs that help students from traditionally underserved backgrounds start and complete a two- or four-year degree or other credential. For additional information, visit community.mygreatlakes.org.