College To Receive Multi-Million Dollar Grant
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has chosen Miami Dade College to partake in a grant program designed to strengthen student performance and help increase graduation rates.
The grant program, known as Completion by Design, is designed to double the number of graduates and certificate receivers in the nation.
MDC was the only institution in Florida to receive the award, which was also awarded to 20 other colleges in Ohio, North Carolina and Texas.
“MDC was chosen for its real dedication to students and its willingness to redesign the student experience so more students can receive a certificate or degree in a timely fashion,” said Suzanne Walsh, senior program officer for post-secondary success at the Gates Foundation.
The five-year grant program consists of three phases, the first one consisting of a year of planning, for which the College has received $494,675.
Each of MDC’s eight campuses will have teams analyzing data on coursework retention and progress, and will then create strategies to increase the number of graduates.
The phases that follow will focus on the implementation and adoption of the strategies.
If the strategies are implemented successfully, MDC will work with the state of Florida to find methods to implement the strategies at other institutions.
“I would call it a home-run,” said Pamela Menke, vice provost at Wolfson Campus and primary contact for the Gates Foundation. “So far, [the members from the Foundation] were really wowed by what we had to say.”
College President Eduardo Padrón believes that the grant will open new doors for the College.
“This is a very significant opportunity for the College,” said Padrón in a college-wide email. “Our commitment to evidence and data to support decision-making, program development and the identification of critical points in students’ progression, as well as our history of support and completion initiatives, provides us with a strong foundation.”
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