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Briar Cliff awarded grant to identify, help at-risk students

The purpose of the College Success grant is to reach students earlier in their academic career to identify appropriate resources that will enable students to achieve greater academic success.


Aug 14, 2014 • By Mandie Mayo Bookmark and Share


SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Briar Cliff University recently received a $78,044 College Success grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation for the 2014-2015 academic year. The purpose of the College Success grant is to reach students earlier in their academic career to identify appropriate resources that will enable students to achieve greater academic success.

Using the grant, Briar Cliff University will implement two major initiatives to identify students earlier and enhance support. First, students will self-report their attendance beginning the second week of each semester, allowing the Office of Student Support and Achievement to begin outreach to students missing class much earlier in the semester. Second, students will be assessed in week four to identify those who are having difficulties in a course.  These tactics will allow the Office of Academic Support and Achievement to reach out to students sooner and connect them with appropriate campus resources. 


“Briar Cliff can build upon the ground work we’ve already started to help our students achieve even more.”

— William Mangan, V.P. for Academic Affairs


“At Briar Cliff University, we have piloted projects that already indicate the potential for success in relation to our new initiatives,” said William Mangan, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “With the College Success grant, Briar Cliff University can build upon the ground work we’ve already started to help our students achieve even more. For more than a decade the university has been focused on improving our early alert system. Our dedicated faculty and the enhancements enabled by the College Success grant will lead to even more successful education outcomes for Briar Cliff students.” 

The importance of identifying risky behaviors sooner than mid-terms is clear, or else it puts students at a disadvantage long-term in their academic career. This is especially true for students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, and students who are first in their families to attend college. Research like this is indicative of how important the College Success grant is and the early alert tactics Briar Cliff has implemented through the grant’s financial support.

“Moving students toward greater opportunity in school and life benefits us all," said Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “We fund programs that understand the root cause of what holds students back, and take bold steps to overcome these obstacles. We look forward to seeing the impact Briar Cliff University can have on helping more students graduate and achieve their full potential.”

The Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation established grants, like the one awarded to Briar Cliff, to break the increasing nationwide trend of freshmen earning low grades, dropping classes or continually repeating classes. Identifying at-risk students early and connecting them with existing support services can have a life-changing effect, helping them stay in school and complete their degrees.

Great Lakes College Success grants, totaling $2.7 million, were awarded to 19 two- and four-year colleges, universities, and community and technical colleges across Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. A total of 5,280 students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, and students who are first in their families to attend college will benefit from support services during the 2014-2015 academic year. This grant is just one way Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates works to achieve its goal of helping more students benefit from their investment in higher education, and graduate ready to reach their full potential.



Tags: Academics, Admissions, BCU

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