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Quinsigamond Community College Awarded $2.25 Million Title III Grant

October, 2018
  • QCC's new Student Success Center is housed in the Harrington Learning Center.
    QCC's new Student Success Center is housed in the Harrington Learning Center.

Quinsigamond Community College’s President Dr. Luis G. Pedraja is seeing his vision for 100 percent student success get one step closer to reality, with the awarding of a $2.25 million five-year Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant recognizes the work QCC is doing to increase student persistence and completion from the point of entry to graduation.

“Our mission as a higher education institution is to foster an environment that provides optimum learning experiences for all of our students. We have extensively improved our student experience support structure and become more embedded in the communities we serve. This funding will enable us to turbo-charge our initiatives to get to our ultimate goal,” he said.

An estimated 78 percent of QCC graduates stay within the region, making QCC a key player in supporting economic development in its service area. For over 50 years, QCC has worked to align its programs and services with the needs of a large, industrial community that has a substantial population of lower income, at-risk students. QCC recognized that in order to help students complete college, it must develop a number of interventions and initiatives at key junctures.

Those initiatives include a comprehensive orientation and first year experience program, which the college rolled out this fall. Studies have shown students to be more successful through early identification of academic and career goals, assessment of student needs, creation of realistic educational plans and close monitoring and intervention throughout a student’s first-year experience.  

QCC has bolstered its wrap-around support services, streamlining them into one central location, the Student Success Center. In addition, the college has improved upon its digital assets, building upon technology-driven initiatives in teaching and learning. An advising and retention software program was implemented that provides innovative solutions for student success, including personalized advising options, a student tracking module and communication system. QCC has also worked to become more embedded within the communities it serves through the implementation of Community Learning Hubs. To date three learning hubs have been opened in the City of Worcester. This fall a redesigned mentoring program has brought in mentors from area communities to assist students through decisions and situations they may encounter in their collegiate and life journeys.

“Our goal is to attain 100 percent student success and we will not rest until we have reached that goal,” President Pedraja said.