From Drew University:
The state’s funding—part of nearly $30 million awarded to 35 institutions across New Jersey—will invest in college students, particularly those most affected by the pandemic.
Institutions receiving funding will, “implement vetted best practices that increase college completion, address barriers to student success, and develop sustainable systemic reforms,” according to a press release from Gov. Murphy’s office.
The bulk of the near $30 million dispersed throughout the state supports the new Opportunity Meets Innovation Challenge (OMIC), a grant program aimed at the long-term resiliency of New Jersey universities.
Per Drew’s grant application, the school will use the funding to create the Drew Student Success Program (DSSP), a multi-pronged, holistic approach to onboarding first-year and transfer students prior to their first semester and supporting them throughout their years on campus.
“This program will provide guided academic support services and strengthen a sense of belonging and engagement for this unique group of students,” said Drew University Interim President Tom Schwarz.
“We want to see them flourish academically, stay in college, and have on-campus and off-campus career-related experiences that prepare them to join the workforce in their chosen careers.”
The incoming student portion of the program will:
- acquaint the students with on-campus resources and opportunities
- proactively foster a sense of community and belonging among the students
- create new assessment measures to gauge the program’s and students’ success
- introduce one-on-one meetings with advisors to help guide course selection and ensure that support services are in place from the beginning of the semester, rather than after a need for these services has been identified
- ensure a new staff adviser will focus on these students’ academic pathways and career plans, and engage with them regularly throughout the year
- expand loaner laptops access and assist in purchasing textbooks for the student textbook lending library
- fund a professional-wear clothing closet for students