Title III Grant

Department of Education logoDepartment of Education logo The U.S. Department of Education awarded Mesa Community College with the Foundations for Student Success (FSS)/Title III grant in the fall of 2011.

The $2 million grant – $400,000 per year for five years – is part of the Strengthening Institutions Program which helps Institutions of Higher Education to better serve low-income students.

Because improving outcomes for developmental education students has become a priority at MCC, the Foundations for Student Success grant aims to break down barriers for students in these courses.

The FSS grant objectives focus on improving the quality of developmental education programs starting with the developmental math program and moving into developmental reading and developmental English.

The focus on developmental education at MCC is one of the strategies for increasing completion rates overall. Specifically, grant priorities are related to the improvement of course completion rates and improvement of persistence and graduation rates at the college.

Title III Grant

Helice Agria conducting a professional development trainingHelice Agria conducting a professional development training

From 2012-2016, the Title III grant offered numerous opportunities for professional development for both residential and adjunct faculty. Training included discipline-specific topics, student success strategy instruction, technology tools, and student services topics. For five years, grant personnel hosted a summer institute with support from the Center for Teaching & Learning. Post-grant, the CTL and FSS partnered to offer a sixth summer institute (Camp Inspired) in 2017.

Instructors receive one week of interdisciplinary training in active learning, student success best practices, learning styles, and more. The second week consists of training in a specific discipline (Math, Reading, or English) so that practitioners will gain or enhance their knowledge of how best to instruct developmental learners in their content area.

Other professional development includes EARS, student success strategies, and technology training. Topics such as short-throw projector training, study skills module training, and additional peer-to-peer observation training have also been covered. 

Several faculty members, both residential and adjunct, have taken part in Peer-to-Peer observations over multiple semesters (Spring 2013, Fall 2013, and Spring 2014 semesters). Faculty also participate in Professional Learning Communities where they review research and current trends in their disciplines and plan ways to integrate Best Practices into their instruction.