Millikin University Awarded a Five-Year $2.2 million Dept. of Education Grant

The funds will support a project titled “Delivering on the Promise of Excellence in Education.”

Millikin campus

DECATUR, Ill. – Millikin University has been awarded a competitive five-year, $2,213,883 U.S. Department of Education Title III Strengthening Institutions Program Grant for a project entitled “Delivering on the Promise of Excellence in Education.”

“These funds will allow Millikin to continue and expand our mission to deliver on the promise of excellence in education. The project is designed to support student academic success, enhance our students’ sense of belonging and engagement in a welcoming and inclusive campus environment, and strengthen Millikin’s long-term capacity to serve our students,” Millikin President Jim Reynolds said. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we appreciate the support that the U.S. Department of Education continues to provide for Millikin and the Decatur community.”

Title III Grant

The U.S. Department of Education’s Title III Strengthening Institutions Program supports institutions of higher education to expand their capacity to serve their unique student body. This program is available to institutions of higher education that serve low-income students, demonstrate the need for additional resources to serve these students more effectively, and provide a strong plan to reach their proposed objectives. 

Over the grant’s five years, Millikin will contribute more than $300,000 in endowment and institutional funding and staff time to ensure the success of this initiative. The total project cost will be $2,518,883. Millikin University will provide 12% of the funding, while the Department of Education will provide 88%.

“Once again, Millikin University is fulfilling its promise to create a culture of academic achievement in an inclusive way for students so that we can prepare them for lifelong success, including leadership roles here in Decatur, across Illinois, and throughout the nation,” Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Wallace Southerland said. 

Title III Grant

The award will support Millikin students to remain enrolled and earn their baccalaureate degrees. The grant will also improve retention and graduation outcomes for targeted students. 

Program initiatives include: 

•Success coaching for first-year and sophomore students, students majoring in exploratory studies, and underserved students.

•Career-focused success coaching.

•Improvements in data collection and analysis.

•Improved training for Millikin’s student mentors.

•Professional development experiences for faculty and staff.

To continue Millikin’s work in creating a welcoming and inclusive campus environment, initiatives will also include efforts related to diversity, inclusion, equity, accessibility, and a sense of belonging – all of which are essential to promoting the success of our students

“These funds will allow us to create and improve programming that supports student success, retention, engagement, and belonging on campus and helps to make a Millikin education more accessible to every student who aspires to succeed,” Provost Mary Black said.

A final set of initiatives will improve university infrastructure and systems to serve students beyond the life of the grant. Examples of initiatives include enhancing student information systems and creating a new endowment fund that the institution will match.

For more information about the Title III grant, please contact acting Project Director Anne-Marie Proske Berk at 217.619.9884.