Northwestern awarded federal student support services grant

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Northwestern awarded federal student support services grant

August 3, 2015

Efforts at Northwestern Oklahoma State University to assist groups of underrepresented students with academic services have received a significant boost in the form of a federal grant from the Department of Education.

For the first time ever, Northwestern was awarded a Student Support Services (SSS) grant to provide students with opportunities for academic development, assist with basic college requirements, and to motivate students toward completion of their postsecondary education.

The grant will provide Northwestern with five years of funding totaling around $1 million. The University will use the funding to serve 140 students, including first generation, low income and disabled students.

Northwestern will employ a program director and academic counselors to provide participants with educational and support services including: tutoring and advising; information on financial aid programs and assistance in completing financial aid applications; financial literacy; career counseling; and preparation for graduation.

“While the overall goal of the program is to improve institutional retention and graduation rates, our Student Support Services grant will focus on assisting individual students meet their individual goals,” Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president, said. “We expect this grant program, like our existing Upward Bound and Title III programs, to make a real difference in the academic success of our program participants.”

Cunningham said Northwestern was fortunate to secure the grant. Schools that already have existing SSS programs automatically receive additional points as grant applications are scored. She said it is difficult for new applicants to be selected, but credited the work of Dr. Mike Knedler, former dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, for his work in building an excellent application.

Northwestern plans to begin implementing the grant program in September once funding is received.