Education Department Awards $20.1 Million in Grants to Strengthen 39 Higher Education Institutions

Archived Information

Education Department Awards $20.1 Million in Grants to Strengthen 39 Higher Education Institutions

September 26, 2013

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the awarding of more than $20.1 million to 39 colleges and universities under the Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP). SIP helps postsecondary schools expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen their academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability, as well as build a framework to help students complete college.

"Everyone deserves access to high-quality learning opportunities, from preschool to middle school and all the way through college" said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "In order to achieve President Obama's goal to lead the world in college graduates by 2020, we must work to ensure that everyone has a chance to enroll and complete postsecondary education. These grants will boost the capacity and quality of programs offered by higher education institutions that serve low-income students as they work to increase completion rates and better prepare their students for success in college, careers and lifetime aspirations."

This year's grant competition offered institutions of higher education two distinct application options. One competition offered grantees the opportunity to address the priority of increasing postsecondary success and college completion, as well as focusing on improving productivity. The other competition addressed the priority of supporting programs, practices, or strategies for which there is strong or moderate evidence of effectiveness, building on the Department's support of evidence-based practices to inform educational policies.

SIP funds may be used for a wide variety of purposes, including planning, faculty development, and the development and improvement of academic programs. Administrative management and establishing an endowment fund are also supported. Institutions may use the grant for other projects as well, such as student service programs designed to improve academic success, including providing innovative or customized instruction courses designed to help retain students and see them through to program completion.

To be eligible for funds under this program, institutions must be serving a substantial number of students receiving need-based federal student aid and have low per-student expenditures. The program funds grants for a total of five years.

More information about the Strengthening Institutions Program can be found at

Note to Editors: Attached are two lists of grantees, each alphabetical by state, with first year award amount and contact information. The first list is grantees under the competition offering additional points for focusing on college completion and improving institutional productivity; the second list is grantees whose application addressed evidence of effectiveness.

State City Grantee First Year Award amount Project Director First Name Project Director Last Name Project Director Email
AL Dothan George C. Wallace Community College $435,498 Mary Payne
CA Merced University of California-Merced $444,710 Elizabeth Boretz
CA Huntington Beach Coast Community College District/Golden West College $447,725 David Baird
FL St. Petersburg Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College $444,794 Linda Hogans
GA Young Harris Young Harris College $394,216 David Leopard
ID Nampa Northwest Nazarene University $449,990 Eric Werth
IL Ina Rend Lake College $449,960 Kim Robert
IN St. Mary of the Woods Saint Mary of the Woods College $450,000 Janet Clark
KS Highland Highland Community College $447,189 Terri Ball
MA Boston Bunker Hill Community College $449,000 James Canniff
MA Brockton Massasoit Community College $449,665 Barbara Finkelstein
MD Cumberland Allegany Community College (AKA Allegany College of MD) $450,000 Cynthia Bambara
MD La Plata College of Southern Maryland $450,000 Joan Middleton
ME Portland University of Southern Maine $448,688 Dahlia Lynn
MI Sault Sainte Marie Lake Superior State University $362,425 Carolyn Rajewski
MN Fergus Falls Minnesota State Community and Technical College $450,000 Carrie Brimhall
MO Kansas City Metropolitan Community Colleges-Blue River CC $449,846 Tristan Londre
MO Kansas City Metropolitan Community Colleges-Penn Valley $449,897 Tristan Londre
NC Louisburg Louisburg College $446,185 James Eck
NC Albemarle Stanly Community College $449,671 Marlene Saunders
NJ Blackwood Camden County College $386,452 James Canonica
OH Dayton Sinclair Community College $444,806 Kathleen Cleary
OR Tillamook Tillamook Bay Community College $449,855 Lori Gates
OR Roseburg Umpqua Community College $445,821 Mandie Pritchard
SD Aberdeen Northern State University $416,735 Steven Rasmussen
TX Clarendon Clarendon College $449,346 Tex Buckhaults
TX Houston University of Houston-Clear Lake $339,550 Carl Stockton
VT Poultney Green Mountain College $399,950 Tom Mauhs-Pugh
WA Lakewood Pierce College $394,384 Kris Cummings
WA Wenatchee Wenatchee Valley College $421,495 Susan Murray
WI Appleton Lawrence University of Wisconsin $449,049 David Burrows
WI Green Bay Northeast Wisconsin-Technical College $418,641 Victoria Lock
WI Stevens Point University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point $399,501 Kathy Davis

Second SIP Competition

State City Grantee First Year Award amount Project Director First Name Project Director Last Name Project Director Email
AR Helena-West Helena Phillips County Community College of the Univ. of Arkansas $1,096,519 Susan Carter
AR Forrest City East Arkansas Community College $1,346,150 Tiffany Billingsley
AR Batesville Lyon College $639,825 Elaine Severs
FL Leesburg Lake-Sumter State College $466,419 Kristy Lisle
IA Sioux City Western Iowa Tech Community College $1,491,134 Julie Stoik
MO Kansas City Metropolitan Community College $999,273 Tristan Londre