In July, 2009, South Arkansas Community College was awarded a $2 million Title III, Part A, Strengthening Institutions Grant from the United States Department of Education. The grant year began on 1 October, 2009, for a five-year period. The purpose of Title III is to improve programs and services at the college through development of new initiatives and improvement of existing ones.
SouthArk’s grant contains one activity, Fulfilling the Promise: Strengthening SouthArk Student Access and Success, that is divided into two components. The first component, Strengthening Academic Programs, will increase student success by 1) developing effective basic math, reading and writing courses, 2) reinforcing basic skills in Gateway courses (required for AA, AS, or AAS degrees), 3) develop Learning Communities for LPN, AA degree, Minority Students, and Returning Students, 4) develop Online Math for Nurses to complete online LPN prerequisites, and 4) develop 31 online AA degree-required courses to address the Access initiative of our Activity. Another focus is faculty development designed to improve delivery of online courses. The major goal is to strengthen the learning-centered culture at our school.
The second component, Strengthening Student Support Services, will streamline and improve the cumbersome process required to access enrollment and provide financial aid information. Part of this process is the creation and implementation of an online advising, orientation, and student support site, which will include FYI reference materials. The major goal of this activity will increase the success and retention of students enrolling at SouthArk and expand access for residents who choose not to attend on-campus. A result of this will be increased fiscal stability and capacity to sustain new practices and improvements.