The Woods awarded nearly $2M grant

September 30th, 2013 | SMWC

Guerin Hall

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has received a grant for nearly $2 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions Program.

“We are honored to be a recipient of this award,” said Dottie King, Ph.D., president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. “Our submission was a direct response to our rigorous program analysis and strategic planning process. This funding will stimulate the campus in various ways and the most important is student success.”

The grant funds support a range of projects to increase student success, academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability. This five year $1,999,660 grant will fund 100 percent of the project at SMWC. Specifically, the award will be used to:

Increase enrollment and retention through:

  • improved student academic support services of particular importance to low income students and first generation students,
  • renovated instructional facilities and improved technology in support of in-demand degree programs, and
  • support for a revised general studies program that encourages transfer enrollment, dual majors and minors, and on-time degree completion, while strengthening and integrating a commitment to core values and mission.

Increase institutional efficiency and capacity for data-driven management by:            

  • implementation of a unified student information system across institutional management operations, and
  • the addition of an institutional researcher, creating data-driven management to best utilize resources.

“I was pleased to learn that Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College, which is located in my district, was awarded the Strengthening Institutions Grant offered through the U.S. Department of Education,” said Congressman Larry Bucshon, MD of Indiana’s Eighth District. “Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College will undoubtedly utilize these funds to strengthen their educational foundation to better prepare the students of the future. As a member of the Education and Workforce committee, I am aware of the significant challenges our institutions of higher learning face, and acknowledge my faith in SMWC as they move forward with their vision under the leadership of Dr. Dottie King.”

Strengthening Institutions Program is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education. This initiative helps postsecondary schools expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability of eligible institutions and build a framework to help students complete college.

The College will enhance Indiana's profile as a place where first-rate educational opportunities exist through student engagement and hands-on experiences. The funding will extend the College’s operations by implementing the following:

  • Seven new smart classrooms
  • Expansion of the Learning Resource Center including additional staff to support Writing and Math Centers
  • Technology-enhanced renovation of the general chemistry laboratory and Hayes Auditorium
  • New student information system
  • Faculty professional development especially to support the new Woods Core general studies curriculum and continued excellence in teaching and scholarship, and
  • Addition of an institutional researcher.

“Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is not only worthy, but an exceptional choice as the recipient of this grant,” said Duke Bennett, mayor of the City of Terre Haute. “Their vision for the future is meaningful in many ways, but as Mayor of Terre Haute I see the strong foundation their education delivery means to the future of our community and workforce.  I personally thank the Department of Education for what this grant means to the College and the Terre Haute community as a whole.”

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