Dillard University Newsroom
(NEW ORLEANS, LA) – Dillard University has received a five-year grant totaling $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education to provide tutoring, counseling and other support services to ensure students earn a college degree. The grant was competitively awarded through the Department of Education’s Student Support Services initiative, which is designed to increase retention and graduation rates among students from low-income backgrounds and would be first-generation college graduates. According to Dr. Kevin Bastian, assistant vice president for support services and the grant’s principal investigator, Dillard’s program is designed to provide comprehensive support services. “Some students, while they have the drive to do well academically, are faced with a number of challenges, academically and socially. These challenges often impede or even derail their path to a college degree,” said Bastian.
Dillard will implement the grant alongside other university-run support projects within its Division of Student Success, including Keys to Success, which provides academic support for student-parents. Dillard also currently operates two additional federal education K-12 grants. “The Student Support Services grant initiative allows us to provide a continuum support for students,” Bastian added.
“Department of Education Data show that students from lower-income families are nearly twice as likely to not complete a college degree in six years,” said Dr. Toya Barnes-Teamer, vice president for student success. “We have made a conscience effort over the past few years to engage our students to make sure we provide the comprehensive resources students require to graduate and succeed,” said Barnes-Teamer. As a first generation college student, Barnes-Teamer said that the support provided to her through a TRIO Program helped to prepare her for the career she’s in today. She also explained that the grant goals are aligned with the University’s Student Integration Model for Success that addresses increased retention and graduation rates. Student Support Services include academic advising, tutoring, study skills training, financial aid counseling, assistance with enrollment into graduate or professional school and help exploring career options.
The grant, which is set to begin in September, will provide academic and other resources for up to 200 students each year over a five-year period. For additional information contact Dillard’s Division of Student Success at 504-816-4714.