Iowa Western Community College was recognized recently for its success in improving graduation rates with a second grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation has awarded a record $8.8 million in the third year of its flagship College Ready and College Success grants to colleges and community-based organizations across Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Great Lakes’ goal is to dramatically improve graduation rates for students who have the most to gain from higher education—those from low-income households, students of color, and students who are first in their families to attend college.
“We are called to action by the mounting evidence that too many of these students enroll in college underprepared academically, and too many leave before earning the degree, diploma, or certificate they set out to earn,” said Richard D. George, president and chief executive officer of Great Lakes. “We fund programs that understand the root cause of what holds students back, and take bold steps to overcome these obstacles.”
After a competitive application process, Great Lakes awarded 56 grants to programs with demonstrated expertise in removing barriers to student achievement. Nearly 13,000 students will benefit from active interventions during the 2014-2015 academic year.
Iowa Western received $197,340 in the College Ready and College Success Continuation Grants category. Continuation grants recognize exceptional programs that reported the most promising outcomes under last year’s College Ready and College Success grants. Based on the proven results of their academic and support services, these programs will refine their efforts for even greater results.
“We are honored that Great Lakes has continued its support of our effort to help students succeed at the college level,” said Keri Zimmer, dean of advising and student success at Iowa Western. “These grant funds are critical in our mission to help all students achieve their dreams of attaining a college degree.”