Research Service Center

USM awarded US Department of Education Strengthening Institutions Program grant

USM is currently focused on improving the overall student academic experience to attain a 74% retention rate and a 55% six-year graduation rate by 2020. To attain these goals, USM must adopt and sustain a coordinated campus-wide experience for all undergraduate students through a cohesive and integrated approach to retention and degree persistence. This will occur by bridging the gaps of engagement and communication between students and University resources, linking academic courses, and by providing faculty professional development workshops on new teaching techniques. The University’s Strengthening Institutions Program’s (SIP) proposal titled First-Year Success Through Experience and Strength (First STEPs) is a key strategy to address the SIP weaknesses that have been identified and thereby better position the institution to achieve its institutional retention and graduation goals.