Title III Part A Programs: Strengthening Institutions
The University of Southern Maine is one of 33 colleges and universities nationally, one of only three in New England and the only one in Maine, to receive a competitive U.S. Department of Education grant that will expand USM’s capacity to serve and graduate more students.
The grant of $1.6 million over five years was awarded through the Department of Education’s “Strengthening Institutions Program,” which was created to fund the establishment of enhanced learning opportunities that help more students stay in college and graduate.
The grant proposal, titled First-Year Success Through Experience and Strength, or First STEPs, outlines four, interdependent “activities” designed to increase the retention rate of first-year students and the four-year graduation rate. The work outlined in the grant proposal also is designed to build partnerships among faculty and staff throughout the university and between USM and community stakeholders.