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CCCC awarded five-year, $1.65M USDOE grant

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Click to enlarge,  Central Carolina Community College Dean of Student Leaning Brian Merritt (left) helps freshman Osman Sbaiti, of Pittsboro, sign up for tutoring in chemistry at the college's Academic Assistance Center on its Lee County Campus. The college has just been awarded a five-year, $1.65 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand its efforts in maximizing student success, retention and graduation. The grant-funded project, 'The MAP to Higher Achievement: Maximizing Academic Persistence,' will pilot in the spring and summer semesters and be implemented in fall 2013.

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Central Carolina Community College Dean of Student Leaning Brian Merritt (left) helps freshman Osman ... (more)

09.20.2012College & CommunityFinances

SANFORD - Central Carolina Community College has just been awarded the largest grant in its 50 - year history: a five-year, $1.65 million Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The college's grant project, "The MAP to Higher Achievement: Maximizing Academic Persistence," will supplement and build on existing college-wide efforts at the Chatham, Harnett and Lee campuses to maximize student success, retention and graduation.

"We are thrilled that the DOE was impressed with Central Carolina Community College's vision for seeing all its students achieve success," said Dr. Bud Marchant, CCCC president. "Our mission as a college is to empower people for success through education and this grant provides major support in increasing our capacity to do so."

Leonard L. Haynes III, senior director of Institutional Service for the USDOE's Office of Postsecondary Education, notified the CCCC Grants Office of the Title III-SIP grant award on Sept. 13. He congratulated the college on its success in the grant competition. CCCC was one of just 14 community colleges and four-year colleges and universities in the nation to receive grants. UNC-Greensboro was the only other institution in North Carolina to receive one.

The grant-funded project will maximize student access and success with the creation of a College Success Center within the college's Division of Student Learning, according to Brian Merritt, dean of Student Learning. It will also provide for the development and sustaining of high-performing employees who will use technology to improve student achievement. In addition, it will enable the implementation of effective technologies such as academic advising/early-alert (EA) software.

The AA/EA will facilitate the early recognition of students in need of intervention and support to be successful, he said. The funding will also provide for full-time professional math coaches, full-time college success coaches, full-time writing center coordinator, additional training for peer tutors, and expansion of college success courses for first-year students.

Success coaches will proactively identify at-risk students in need of increased levels of intervention, such as peer tutoring, professional tutoring, major/career guidance, and additional advising sessions. The coaches will encourage them to recognize and accept support and intervention. Research indicates that students who do so achieve greater levels of college success.

"This is the opportunity we have been working toward," said Dr. Lisa Chapman, CCCC executive vice president for instruction/CAO. "We will now be able to enhance what we are doing as well as provide even more important assistance to our students. I am so excited about this."

With the implementation of the College Success Center, the college anticipates enhanced success by students as demonstrated by increased full-time enrollment and higher retention and graduation rates.

"This grant project will truly help to strengthen the college's capacity to serve our students," Merritt said. "Securing this grant funding was a true team effort. The 'coaching' model is a proven, effective method to help increase student success. We have extremely dedicated faculty and staff who are already using this model and we are ready and eager to spread this model college-wide."

The College Success Center project will be piloted during the spring and summer semesters and launched college-wide in fall 2013.

"I'm signing up for tutoring in chemistry this semester because I know it will help me succeed in class," said freshman Osman Sbaiti, of Pittsboro, a member of CCCC's basketball team. "I think it's great that the college will be able to expand the help they give students with this grant."

The total College Success Center project, including in-kind costs, will be 74 percent funded by the U.S. DOE $1.65 million five-year grant. Years one and two, 2012-14, will be 100 percent funded by the grant, with the college receiving $409,000 and $440,000, respectively. During the final three grant years, 2014-17, the college will receive $335,000; $258,000; and $209,000, respectively. The college will gradually pick up the funding of salaries to sustain the project beyond the grant years. No non-governmental source funding is expected to be used.

For more information about the Title III grant, visit