Cleveland State Awarded SERS And OER Grants

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Cleveland State Community College has received three new grants. The college was awarded two Student Engagement Retention and Success Grants and one Open Ed Resources and Digital Engagement Grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents. In total, these three projects bring over $75,000 in new funding to the college. 

The first SERS grant awarded is for The Expansion and Diversification of Library Collections project.  This project focuses on improving the collection for greater representation, understanding, and empathy for first-generation students. With this $26,000 grant, the library will add 400 physical titles, 100 electronic titles, and CSCC’s PAGES Book Club will receive 150 books. This will increase its physical holdings, both in fiction and non-fiction by 236 titles to 636 titles. By updating the library’s collection, both in physical formats and with digital content, the college seeks to offer material that will be current and useful to the college community and an asset in achieving college-wide goals of equity and diversity, said officials.

The OER Grant was awarded for a project called The Open Educational Resources Initiative in the Honors College at CSCC. This project was awarded approximately $29,000 to focus on expanding non-traditional course formats for honors courses and First Year Seminar courses. The variety in available resources provided by utilizing OER enables the instructor to increase the ways of collaborative learning, community building, and higher order thinking. Dr. Victoria M. Bryan, dean of the Honors College and Academic Enhancement at Cleveland State says both initiatives will bring a new level of efficiency and inclusion to the college community. 

“These grants are going to do wonders for equity on our campus,” said Dr. Bryan. “The ability to expand our library collection to be more representative of our student body will go a long way in communicating to our campus and our community that our library is an equitable, welcoming place for students and other patrons. Similarly, the OER grant will allow us to infuse our classes with high quality texts that will not leave our students with astronomical textbook costs to cover each semester. I couldn't be prouder of these two initiatives, and I know they'll serve our students and our campus well.”

The second SERS grant was awarded to the Making Academic Pathways Successful project. This initiative is a transfer bridge program and it was awarded at approximately $20,000. The intended target group for this program is low-income and underrepresented minority students. The program will target sophomore-level students majoring in transfer programs who are planning to graduate and move on to a four-year college or university. It will only focus on 40 students, 20 in the fall and 20 in the spring, to fulfill the need to offer students guidance, support, and financial assistance. 

“Many students do not know where or how to transfer to a 4-year institution or they give up while attempting to navigate the requirements and procedures,” said Mark Wilson, Counseling and Career Services director for Cleveland State. “Students served with this grant will receive assistance in a variety of ways including having sessions with 4-year college transfer representatives, creating portfolios, and helping apply for admission and scholarships.”



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