Salish Kootenai College Receives Grant to Improve Student Success

Jul 26th, 2016 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive

Salish Kootenai College (SKC) is one of seven minority-serving, postsecondary institutions selected to receive nearly $2.3 million in grants from USA Funds to improve student outcomes. More specifically, the grant is earmarked for the development and application of data tools and institutional practices that enhance completion rates and the career readiness of first-generation, low-income, and minority students.

The three-year MSI Measuring College Value initiative is designed to support two-year and four-year minority-serving colleges and universities in measuring the value of their programs, improving student outcomes, and developing innovative approaches that inform the broader postsecondary education community of ways to increase program completion and advance the career readiness of their students. With its grant, SKC will develop data tools, aligned with the American Indian perspective, to assess college readiness, academic progress, and workforce outcomes.

“As college completion rates and employment outcomes for Black, Hispanic and Native American students continue to lag, [SKC is] well-positioned to improve these results, applying data-informed solutions to enhance the value they deliver to students,” says Lorenzo L. Esters, USA Funds vice president of philanthropy. “If our nation is to continue to prosper, all segments of our population must be equipped with the skills to participate fully in the workforce and in the communities in which they live.”

As part of the initiative, SKC will benefit from a designated “data coach” who will assist the institution in the creation of user-friendly, customized data tools. SKC also will designate an “innovation group” to include its chief academic affairs officer, an institutional research staff member, a faculty representative, and one employer-partner. The innovation group from SKC will join those from other institutions and will participate in an annual meeting to share best practices and foster collaboration between leadership and faculty among the seven participating colleges and universities.

“Throughout its history, USA Funds has worked to enhance higher education opportunities and success for students of color, lower-income students, and those who were the first in their family to attend college,” said William D. Hansen, USA Funds president and CEO. “Building on that legacy, these grants will promote a surer path toward a college degree and a smoother transition to successful careers and fulfilling lives for minority students.”

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