Title III
Strengthening Institutions Program

Title III

Part A

Project Activity: Strengthening Services to Increase Retention and Persistence


The purpose of the Title III Strengthening Institutions Program is to provide grants to eligible institutions of higher education to improve their academic programs, institutional management, and fiscal stability in order to increase their self-sufficiency and strengthen their capacity to make a substantial contribution to the higher education resources of the Nation. (34 CFR 607.1)


Project Description

The Title III project at Villa Maria is a five-year project (October 1, 2015-September 30, 2020) that will focus on increasing student retention, persistence and completion by bringing together support services such as tutoring, supplemental instruction, first-year advising, mentoring and an academic recovery program for students on academic warning/probation.   

The project will also focus on information literacy, updating classroom presentation technology and improving the capacity of administrators, faculty, and staff to build reports and analyze institutional data to improve immediate and long-range academic, institutional and fiscal decision making by enhancing the College’s academic management system.

Funds will be used to hire staff to work directly with students to overcome barriers that may impede their academic and personal success so they may achieve their academic and career goals. The college will also use funding to provide professional development and training for faculty and staff to meet the goals (see below) outlined in the initial grant proposal.


Villa Maria Title III Goals:

1) Strengthen Academic and Support services

2) Improve Information Literacy Instruction

3) Update and Enhance the Villa Maria College library to increase student use, support information literacy instruction, and research

4) Provide coordination and programming to support faculty and staff development;

5) Improve the College’s academic management system;

6) Increase the number of sites with presentation technology.


VMC addressed the Competitive Preference Priority.

Castleman, B.L., Page, L.C., & Schooley, K. (2014).  The forgotten summer: Does the offer of college counseling after high school mitigate summer melt among college- intending low-income high school graduates? Journal of Policy and Analysis Management, 33(2), 320-344.

Key measures of success will be to: (a) increase retention of first-time, full-time students by five percent; (b) increase the persistence to graduation (at 150 percent) by 4.5 percent.

To see Villa Maria College’s Official Title III Announcement, click here.

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