WITCC Receives a $2.2M Grant from the Department of Education - Western Iowa Tech Community College
Western Iowa Tech Community College

WITCC Receives a $2.2M Grant from the Department of Education

By: Western Iowa Tech

College will use the funds to improve retention of students and transfer rates, as well as create a culture of equity. 

Western Iowa Tech Community College has been awarded a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the purposes of strengthening retention of its Arts and Sciences students, improving transfer pathways to 4-year colleges and universities, fostering a culture of equity, and training employees on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

In the first phase of the 5-year grant, the college will hire additional staff to focus on increasing completion and transfer rates among Arts and Sciences students seeking their bachelor degree. Personnel will be responsible for facilitating connections with transfer institutions, mapping clear and accessible transfer pathways, identifying barriers inhibiting student success, and improving the onboarding processes. The grant will be used to evaluate experiential learning approaches, where students gain valuable soft skills and real-world learning. There will also be a renewed focus on retention of minority students caused by a lack of connectivity and gaps in cultural competency. By creating mentorship programs, professional development opportunities, and scholarships for minority students, WITCC aims to improve transfer students to 4-year schools for minority students. 

The second phase of the grant will focus on fostering a culture of equity by funding a Center for Diversity Enrichment within the college. The centralized student center will house student resources related to diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as outside community resources specific to underrepresented populations.  The student center will promote engagement of diverse learners in a safe environment where they will experience a sense of belonging and inclusion. 

Additionally, WITCC will be closely partnering with the College’s Department of Inclusion to make available ongoing, college-wide DEI professional development and training for all employees. The College will also undergo an instructional design review to ensure that equity and access are attained within the classroom. 

By improving the College’s cultural competency as well as retention and completion through the grant, WITCC will build a campus where every learner is supported, provide degrees to more students, and ultimately increase educational attainment in our community.

See All News