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NSCC receives $2.248M Title III grant

North Shore Community College (NSCC) has been awarded a $2.248 million Title III Strengthening Institutions grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to implement a Pathways to Success program over the next five years to boost student retention and completion.  It is one of only three DOE grants given in Massachusetts, and the only one awarded to a community college.

NSCC’s Pathways to Success will address persistence and completion rates through significant integration of technology and academic programming to provide students with the tools they need to achieve their career goals in their chosen academic pathway. 

Two priorities set by the DOE will be the focus of Pathways to Success:  increasing student access to internships and career planning, and supporting instruction in personal financial literacy. The project also aligns with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Equity Agenda, which is focused on college access, retention and completion.

Representing an overhaul of the student experience, Pathways to Success will provide clear, coherent pathways to graduation sustained through integrated support. The project harnesses the structure of guided pathways and the efficiency of technology to build an institution-wide system to meet NSCC’s student success outcomes.

Pathways to Success will have two main components:  Guided Pathways and Integrated Support.  Guided Pathways will ensure students chose an academic program that fits their skills, interests, career and personal goals.  First Year Experience courses, internships and high-impact instructional practices will prepare students to succeed in their pathway. 

Integrated support will use the power of technology and personal interaction to provide students, faculty and staff with accessible communication systems and data that informs decision-making and tracks students’ progress toward their goals.  The project strengthens academic and student support components to increase student retention and completion.

“Title III is a transformative program which will enable NSCC to make necessary change to better support student retention and completion efforts,” said NSCC President Patricia A. Gentile. “This Title III grant injects significant resources into these efforts and will take them to the next level of guided career pathways and wrap around supports, with students empowered to utilize a variety of resources.”

Underscoring the program is a comprehensive professional development program for faculty and staff that provides cross-training, support for faculty refining the Divisional Pathways, integrating high impact practices across the curriculum, and college-wide training on the use and implementation of new technological tools.

The Title III grant program is intended to help institutions of higher learning expand their capacity to serve students of all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds through rigorous education, strong administrative management and fiscal stability.

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