Department Of Education Student Success Grant To Benefit Wayne State College Over Five-Year Period

WAYNE – A Title III Strengthening Institutions program has been awarded for the first time to Wayne State College where WSC has received a $2.125-million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

According to a release from Wayne State College, the annual awards of $375,000 to $450,000 per year for five years will provide WSC with the resources to substantially reduce student performance gaps, increase the percentage of students who return to Wayne State to continue their education in the following year and increase graduation rates.

Wayne State applied for the funds in order to supplement the resources WSC uses on a daily basis to serve underrepresented student populations and provide the educational opportunities required for continued economic and workforce development. The Wayne State Interventions program, termed WayS In, signals a tight integration of a variety of retention and success initiatives into a single enterprise that encompasses academic support, faculty innovations and student peer mentoring.

The focus at Wayne State College on student success, affordability and maintaining a close-knit, diverse community has made Wayne State the institution of choice for many of Nebraska’s first-generation, low-income and rural college students. Changing demographics projected for the state of Nebraska point to the need to prepare for changes in Wayne State’s student body.

Wayne State will use the funds to support comprehensive academic success plans inside and outside the classroom. The U.S. Department of Education grant will fully fund new initiatives for the five-year period of the grant. These plans, which are made up of a suite of best-practice initiatives shown by research to positively impact underrepresented student populations, include:

  • Funding for peer educator and peer mentor programs that provide supportive role models and guides with similar interests and backgrounds, peer-led instruction, and more on-campus jobs.
  • First Year Experience courses that develop a sense of community and provide new students with training on the habits, resources, and tools they need to succeed in college.
  • A student performance and record-sharing platform that allows for coordinated care of at-risk students.
  • Professional development opportunities for faculty and staff to stay up-to-date with pedagogical shifts related to hands-on learning, changing student demographics, and use of technology through the creation of the Center for Faculty Development and Innovation.


For questions or information about the grant, contact Dr. Anne McCarthy, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at 402-375-7215 or email