Martin University in Indianapolis is one of seven institutions selected to share in $2.3 million in grants from USA Funds. The grants are meant to enhance college completion rates and career readiness among first-generation, low-income and minority students.
Martin says its share of the grants will go toward enhancing and expanding its Liberal Arts Plus model. The university aims to promote a "hybrid blend of skills acquired in vocational programs, focused workforce preparation and a well-rounded liberal arts education."
USA Funds says each school will receive a "data coach," who will help in the creation of data tools for each institution. Each school will also designate an "innovation group," consisting of its chief academic officer, an institutional research staff member, a faculty representative and an employer-partner. The groups will meet once per year to share best practices with each other.
"As college completion rates and employment outcomes for black, Hispanic and Native American students continue to lag, these colleges are well-positioned to improve these results, applying data-informed solutions to enhance the value they deliver to students," said Lorenzo Esters, vice president of philanthropy for USA Funds. "If our nation is to continue to prosper, all segments of our population must be equipped with the skills to participate fully in the workforce and in the communities in which they live."
The grants are part of USA Funds’ three-year MSI Measuring College Value initiative, which supports two-year and four-year minority-serving colleges and universities. The other grant recipients include:
- Harris-Stowe State University – St. Louis
- Miami Dade College
- St. Thomas University – Miami Gardens, Florida
- Salish Kootenai College – Pablo, Montana
- Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
- Wiley College – Marshall Texas
"Throughout its history, USA Funds has worked to enhance higher education opportunities and success for students of color, lower-income students, and those who were the first in their family to attend college," said William Hansen, chief executive officer of USA Funds. "Building on that legacy, these grants will promote a surer path toward a college degree and a smoother transition to successful careers and fulfilling lives for minority students."