SVSU receives $3 million grant to boost student success, retention

Tony Crachiola, SVSU professor of mathematics, teaches a math class at Saginaw Valley State University.
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SAGINAW (WJRT) (10/26/2017) - Saginaw Valley State University was one of seven higher education institutions in the United States to receive a $3 million grant over five years to boost student retention and graduation rates.

SVSU President Donald Bachand said students can expect better services from the university, including enhanced resources to help meet math requirements, increased scholarships and a summer transition program for incoming freshmen.

“All of this will support the academic success of our determined students and help them complete degrees more quickly," Bachand said. “Having more students graduate in a timely fashion is good for them, it’s good for us, it’s good for the state and it’s good for the employers that hire our graduates.”

SVSU’s retention rate has risen for seven consecutive years to 74.4 percent this fall, an increase from 68 percent in 2011. Higher retention rates generally result in higher graduation rates in future years.

SVSU has data showing students who use available resources, including tutoring help, earn higher grades and are more likely to remain enrolled. Grant funds will be used to boost existing programs and add new initiatives:

• Updating courses and offering supplemental instruction and embedded tutoring for students who need support to be successful in college-level math.

• Developing online educational materials to reduce textbook costs in general education courses, along with implementing innovative curriculum in basic skills and general education.

• Hiring a transition coordinator for incoming freshmen and to host a four-day summer bridge program for new students.

• Creating a student analytics and business intelligence base to improve student services, communication, retention and success rates.

• Using $600,000 of the grant to match private donations to the SVSU Foundation to establish a $1.2 million endowment to be used as scholarships.