Released: September 3, 1999
|ULM Receives $1.7 Million Grant|
Fifth District Congressman John Cooksey and University of Louisiana at Monroe President Lawson L. Swearingen, Jr., announced Friday that the University will receive what is expected to be a five-year $1.7 million grant to strengthen its academic support services in attracting and retaining students. The announcement came at an afternoon press conference in the Media Briefing Room of ULM's University Library.
"Since it is anticipated that this grant will be for a total of five years, it has a potential value of approximately $2 million," Cooksey said. "It will fund a program designed to help the university retain new students through helping them be more successful in their basic academic courses and developmental courses. Education is vitally important to the economic growth and development of our region and state, so it is always very pleasing to me when I can help in adding resources that will enable our institutions of higher learning like the University of Louisiana at Monroe to better serve their students and our area.
"This grant further signals the emergence of ULM as a major national institution with a new name befitting a new millennium. I applaud the new name and what it will mean to the University's competitiveness for future federal grants," Cooksey added.
Dr. Gene Newman, a faculty member in ULM's Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling was the primary investigator and principal researcher on the grant. Dr. Pam Newman, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling, was also a principal writer and Dr. "Skeet" Creekmore, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, was a contributing author. Dr. Edward Duffy was the Title III consultant for the project.
"This is a dream for us," Newman said. "It's ideal timing for the University with the new Library and our approaching Doctoral II status because this grant adds substance to the other outstanding accomplishments we have enjoyed recently."
Newman had praise for Duffy in helping get the Title III grant funded and funded at 100 percent. Of 296 Title III grants submitted in 1999, only 56, 18.9 percent, were funded and less than five percent of first-year grants were funded. Just four four-year public institutions were funded nationally. ULM was one of the first-year institutions funded.
"Dr. Duffy was very instrumental in helping the University get this grant funded," Newman said. "He's been a member of a consulting team for 10 funded grants over the past 21 years. And we are indebted to the University Foundation that supplied us with the funding to secure Dr. Duffy's services."
University of Louisiana System President Bobby Jindal commended ULM for its focused efforts to maintain healthy enrollments and to keep students in school through graduation.
"In May and June, we asked ULM to focus its efforts on enrollment, student retention and graduation rates," Jindal said. "This program is an example of the positive response we expected in our call for accountability in these areas."
During the first year of the grant, which will be funded at $346,130, the University will develop plans and implement programs to establish a Center for Academic and Student Success (CASS) which will feature services including intensive academic and career counseling primarily for freshmen and sophomores and a college survival skills center (computer labs, software and resource library to enhance academic and student success). The CASS staff will include a director, five academic and career counselors, clerical assistance and eight graduate assistants.
Additional features of the grant will be the development and training of faculty and staff with a model academic advising program; development of a comprehensive early alert system for identifying students at risk and referring them to available services and prompt intervention to guide them towards student success; and the development of an automated degree audit program which will be used as an intervention academic advising tool.