DCC Wins Prestigious $2.2M U.S. Department of Education Grant

Sept. 30, 2021--The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Dutchess Community College a $2.2 million Title III grant to further strengthen efforts in areas such as advising; teaching and learning; diversity, equity and inclusion; and career pathways. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made the announcement on Sept. 27, 2021.

The five-year grant was awarded through the Department of Education’s Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP), which provides grants to institutions to help them expand their capacity to serve low-income students. It is also the largest competitive grant DCC has ever been awarded.

“The Title III SIP is an extremely competitive grant and highly sought after by community colleges,” said DCC’s President Peter Grant Jordan. “We know a student’s chances of success are greatly increased when there’s a comprehensive suite of resources in place. This grant will allow us to strengthen those resources and programs to ensure that we can offer our students the resources they need to be successful here at DCC and beyond.”  

DCC will use the funding to support the College’s Guided Pathways initiative, which focuses on increasing student access and success. The grant will support four major areas, including:

- Clarifying the academic and career paths of students by improving student course and program selection through the integration of accelerated English, math and gateway courses.

- Helping students find and pursue their academic and career paths by enhancing academic advising in areas such as career services and prior learning assessments.

- Ensuring students remain on their academic and career paths by supporting faculty-led improvements to teaching practices and innovations that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. 

- Improving work-based and applied learning opportunities for students by integrating curriculum with new technology to enhance student interactions with employers. The grant will also support employment placement and tracking, and pilot the integration of electronic portfolios with the curriculum. 

In implementing these strategies, DCC hopes to increase enrollment for non-traditional students and improve course success in introductory math and English for first-time college students. 

The grant is also expected to improve retention rates of first-time college students and increase the percentage of degree-seeking first-time college students looking to complete a degree or certificate. Additionally, the grant is expected to increase the transfer rate for first-time and low-income students to four-year colleges and universities.

For more on the Title III Part A Programs - Strengthening Institutions Program, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website.