Title III Strengthening Institutions Synopsis
Title III is a federal grant focused on strengthening institutions. LCCC has received a five (5) year grant for $1,939,000, or between $342,866 and $399,138 per year. The grant begins October 1, 2009, with a budget of $399,138.
There are specific items that must be purchased, personnel hired, and tasks to be accomplished in each year of the grant. It is imperative that LCCC adhere to the grant guidelines of "measurables and deliverables", in order to remain eligible for other federal grants. However, it may be possible, in the later years of the grant, for LCCC to re-budget and re-direct remaining grant funds to other pressing needs of the college, which meet the goals of the original grant.
Goal and Objectives: To increase the persistence rate of LCCC Dedicated Center students, Evening students, and Weekend students. This will be accomplished through the following objectives: a) providing consistent student support services through the hiring of two Title III Coordinators, who will provide services directly or through enhanced technology, b) increase the availability of professional development for adjunct faculty using the same enhanced technology, and c) increase enhanced technology at the Dedicated Centers.
Below is a bulleted list of some expenditures and tasks that must be completed in each year of the grant.
Activity 1 - Hire two Title III Coordinators:
Two Title III Coordinators were hired and trained in the areas of: financial aid, counseling, advising, and admissions. The Coordinators trained the Dedicated staff, as well. They are available evenings to answer any pressing questions from staff or students. Additionally, the Coordinators travel among the Dedicated Sites and use enhanced technology to stay in touch with the Dedicated Sites when their job responsibilities necessitate their absence. The LCCC facilities for which the Coordinators are responsible include: Northumberland (Shamokin and Kulpmont), Wilkes-Barre Center, Berwick, Hazleton, and Main Campus evening and weekend students. The Coordinators also develop, hire, train, and coordinate tutoring for their Dedicated Sites.
One Coordinator will be funded/paid by college funds starting in Year 5.
Activity 2 - Hire one Title III Specialist:
A Title III Specialist was hired. In this position, the Specialist assists the Program Director with tracking data, maintaining records, and preparing reports required by the Grant.
Activity 3 - Hire one Title III Technology Specialist:
A Title III Technology Specialist was hired. The Technology Specialist is involved in the installation and maintenance of the enhanced technology equipment, as well as training the Dedicated Site staff and faculty in its use. This technology includes: network infrastructure, video conferencing equipment, Lotus Notes collaboration software, IP phones, web servers, file servers, and campus monitors.
The Technology Specialist will be funded/paid by the college starting in Year 4.
Activity 4 - Hire one Grant Evaluation Consultant/Conduct Surveys
An independent Grant Evaluation Consultant was hired.
Student and adjunct faculty surveys were completed.
The outcomes for Year 1 included: a) the hiring and training of Title III staff, b) the collection and analysis of data from student and adjunct faculty surveys, to be used as the evaluation baselines, c) the purchasing, installation, and maintenance of Polycom HDX-7000 systems at Kulpmont and Main campuses, d) the training of Helpdesk functions, e) the introduction of Wimba Pronto software, and f) the creation of five smart classrooms at Berwick campus, two at Main campus, and one at the Wilkes-Barre Center.
Task 1: The results of persistence rates will show a 2% increase over baseline data. That is, retention will increase by 2%. Data will be collected by Center Directors, Institutional Research, and faculty.
Task 2: A student orientation program was created by the Title III Coordinators for all Dedicated sites, based on the needs-assessment survey. Title III staff, Institutional Research, and Center Directors were involved.
Task 3: Tutoring services commenced at all Dedicated sites. Tutoring services were developed and are coordinated by the Title III Coordinators.
Task 4: The Title III Coordinators and Technology Specialist developed and implemented training programs for all Dedicated site staff. An online website was created for adjunct instructors. Advisors and off-campus directors were trained in the Early Alert System.
Task 5: The Hazleton and Berwick campuses received enhanced technology. The Title III Project Director, Title III Technology Specialist, and Center Directors were involved.
The outcomes for Year 2 included: a) implementation of a revised student orientation plan, b) implementation of enhanced advising and counseling services, along with tutoring services, c) finalization of Title III staff's training program, after appropriate college department approval, d) development of the adjunct website by the Title III Technology Specialist, in conjunction with Title III staff, e) installation, use, and maintenance of the Polycom HDX-7000 systems at the Berwick and Hazleton campuses, f) installation of Lotus Sametime Connect on all site director systems, g) staff training for: Lotus Sametime Connect, Wimba Pronto, Epson BrightLink projectors and smartboards, and the Polycom HDX-7000 systems, h) creation of five smart classrooms at Shamokin campus, two at Main campus, and 19 in the Health Science Building, and i) updating and posting the adjunct faculty handbook online.
Task 1: Results of persistence rates will show a 4% increase over baseline data.
Task 2: Adjunct faculty and Dedicated Site staff were trained on the Early Alert System.
Task 3: Title III staff trained remainder of the professional staff. Adjunct Faculty online handbook was kept up to date. Adjunct faculty were also provided with greater opportunities for professional development.
Task 4: Polycom HDX-7000 system was installed in the Health Science Center.
Task 5: The General College Endowment fund related to Title III was started by the LCCC Foundation Board and Resource Development staff. It earned $55,000 in Year 3.
The outcomes of Year 3 include: a) staff training occurred for the web-based version of Lotus Sametime and the Polycom HDX-7000 video conference systems, b) video conference systems were used to accommodate special needs students, c) the adjunct handbook was kept up to date, d) there was a change in personnel for the position of Title III Specialist, e) an increase of 20% was seen in the availability of student support services related to academic advising and financial aid, a result of expanding the use of video conference equipment, f) an increase in student use of tutoring, college planning, and orientation was experienced, g) satisfactory student evaluations of adjunct faculty reached 83%, which exceeded the goal of 77%, h) the LCCC Foundation raised $55,000 in matching funds for the General College Endowment fund related to Title III, and i) technology capacity was further increased through the increase of bandwidth and availability of internet access at Dedicated sites.
Task 1: Results of persistence rates will show a 6% increase over baseline data.
Task 2: A website will be created specifically for Off-campus, Weekend, and Evening students. Title III staff, IT staff, Institutional Research, and Center Directors will be involved.
Task 3: A series of workshops related to Adult Learner concerns will be developed by Title III staff, IT staff, Institutional Research, and Center Directors. Additionally, Adult Learner clubs will be established.
Task 4: Wilkes-Barre will receive enhanced communication technology.
Task 5: Continue annually the General College Endowment Fund by the LCCC Foundation Board and Resource Development staff. The goal for Year 4 is $60,000.
The Title III IT staff person will be hired by the college. Evening, weekend, and off-campus students will have access to significant and pertinent resources specific to them throughout the grant period. The results of the training programs will show an increase of 37.5% usage by students. The Foundation will raise $60,000 in matching funds. Enhanced technology will be installed and used.
Task 1: Results of the persistence rates will show an 8% increase over baseline data.
Task 2: Title III staff will continue to implement portions of professional development programs for Dedicated Site staff.
Task 3: Professional development training will be provided to Adjunct faculty and, at the same time, made available to full-time Main campus faculty.
Task 4: Continued growth of General College Endowment Fund by LCCC Foundation Board and Resource Development staff.
One Title III Coordinator will be hired by the college. The LCCC Foundation Board will raise $65,000 in matching funds. A decrease from 35% to 15% will occur for Adjuncts who have received poor student evaluations. Increase of usage of services by students will be to 50%.