In September 2013, Lawrence was awarded a $2,136,998 grant from the Department of Education (Title III Strengthening Institutions Program). The five-year, federally-funded grant will allow Lawrence to implement an integrated network of academic support initiatives designed to help students overcome obstacles and achieve their educational goals. To achieve the goal of increasing retention and graduation rates, the grant will support several activities:
• Additional staff positions for the Center for Teaching & Learning and Student Academic Services (now Center for Academic Success) that will substantially increase the hours of each term of one-on-one and small group academic skills development, as well as ESL services.
• A retention management system will be launched with new software to coordinate faster, more targeted connections to students who would benefit from supportive, individualized outreach by a network of faculty and staff.
• New bridge programs will develop core skills and better prepare incoming students for college.
• New and advanced training for faculty advisors to equip them with tools to provide better, more culturally competent academic advising and mentoring.
• The CORE peer mentoring program launched in the fall of 2013, will be expanded to serve all freshmen, matching each Freshman Studies section with two upper-division peer mentors. The CORE mentors will help first-year students make Connections, receive ongoing Orientation, identify and utilize campus Resources and develop realistic Expectations about academics and student life.
The name of our Title III grant-funded initiatives is COMPASS, which is an acronym for: Commitment to Orientation, Mentoring, Persistence, Advising, Support, and Success.