Front Range Community College Blog

FRCC Receives $2.2 Million Federal Grant to Improve Student Success

A five-year, $2.2 million U.S. Department of Education grant will support Front Range Community College’s efforts to provide more support to students so more students are successful.

The highly competitive program helps eligible higher education institutions expand their capacity to serve low-income students. Two-thirds of first-time, full-time FRCC students receive financial aid, and 46 percent receive Pell Grants, which are awarded to low-income students.

FRCC’s award supports its extensive student success efforts that it began in 2014. FRCC is one of 30 community colleges in the country participating in the national American Association of Community College’s Pathways Project. Pathways colleges create clearer academic pathways for students and provide more guidance to them.

“The Title III award will significantly strengthen our student success program,” said President Andrew Dorsey. “It is also a validation of our student success plan. Grant reviewers clearly thought that we had a compelling, well-organized approach to helping students.”

FRCC will use the award to:

  • Strengthen Orientation and Advising for New Students: By fall of 2018, FRCC plans to have 85 percent of first-time students attend orientation, choose a career and academic community and adopt an academic plan. The grant will pay for development and start-up of a new mandatory orientation program. It will also support the development of the career and academic communities, clusters of related fields of study. As part of its commitment to a strong advising experience for students, FRCC hired 15 additional advisors this summer.
  • Increase academic support in math courses: As at almost every college, math courses are a significant barrier to student success. FRCC will expand its successful supplemental instruction pilot to over 100 math sections per year to help more students succeed. Supplemental instruction involves a successful former student serving as a peer tutor and mentor both in and out of class.
  • Improve use of technology for student success: Many students earn more credits than they need to graduate leading to students spending excess time and money. Technology – for example, data-rich student progress reports – can better track student progress and alert advisors and faculty when students are straying from their academic plans.
  • Increase professional development for staff: To help students better chose and sustain career paths, FRCC will train advisors in career counseling and coaching techniques and will train faculty in supporting students and working successfully with advisor

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About Front Range Community College

FRCC offers nearly 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, and Brighton, and online. FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System.

About the Colorado Community College System

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, serving more than 144,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities. CCCS students save time and money with affordable tuition and fees, concurrent enrollment, and guaranteed transfer to any public university in Colorado. Online courses are available via Colorado Community Colleges Online. CCCS also oversees career and technical programs in our 13 colleges, more than 160 school districts, and six other post-secondary institutions. By partnering with business and industry, CCCS helps employers meet workforce needs and prepares students for direct entry to their chosen career pathway. The vast majority of our students are Colorado residents and, after graduation, 97 percent of our students stay in state, becoming the workforce that powers the Colorado economy and the heart of our neighborhoods, businesses, and communities.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Feeley is director of public relations at Front Range Community College.