A federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education will benefit students at Dalton State by enhancing the academic advising program, expanding tutoring and supplemental instruction and improving technology.
The $2.1 million Title V grant was awarded to Dalton State because of its status as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, the state’s first and only HSI. Title V of the Higher Education Act is a federal funded grant program created to improve higher education of Hispanic students. A college earns HSI status when at least 25 percent of the student population identifies as Hispanic, a designation received by Dalton State in the spring of 2018.
“While Dalton State received the Title V funding because we are an HSI, every student at Dalton State benefits from the award,” said Dr. Jodi Johnson, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “The scope of projects we are about to undertake will have a positive and lasting impact on Dalton State students for years to come.”
The funds will be used to improve retention and graduation rates, as well as provide additional support for underprepared and first-generation students, said Elizabeth Hutchins, director of advising.
“Specifically the grant funds enrollment management software, three additional full-time advising and academic resources staff, and 18 more part-time student tutoring and supplemental instruction positions,” Ms. Hutchins said. “Additional money provides training and supplies to support academic resources and will be used to purchase access to Grammarly, an online writing assistant, for all students.”
Technology will be upgraded to improve classroom utilization and scheduling changes. And the grant will also help fund a financial literacy program in the spring.
Additional funds will be provided to the Dalton State Foundation to establish endowments for need-based scholarships, Dr. Johnson said. More than half of students at Dalton State receive need-based financial aid.
“The overall purpose of the grant is to increase support for our students, which in turn supports the community,” Ms. Hutchins said. “We want to help more students graduate and know most of them will remain in this area.”