MSU President’s Column for the Traill County Tribune

February 16, 2019

Department of Education grant funding will have a significant impact at MSU

Mayville State University was fortunate to have received a U.S. Department of Education Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant in the amount of $2,249,009. The grant will be distributed over five years and was available as of Oct. 1, 2018. The purpose of the SIP program is to help institutions of higher education to become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.

Mayville State’s grant-funded Department of Education Title III project has been broken down into three key activities.

One of these activities is establishing a system of faculty support for improving pedagogical practices for teaching underprepared students and students with diverse needs. MSU Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Keith Stenehjem is heading up this part of the grant project. It will include classroom renovations designed to support active learning teaching styles and instructional coaching. Both of these actions are designed to support faculty in their roles as they meet the changing needs of our student populations.

The second activity, centralizing data collection, management, and reporting, is being done so that this task will become an integral and systematic function of the institution across divisions and departments. This will enable systematic planning, and is being facilitated by Mayville State’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness. Ashley Kulland, MSU’s Senior Institutional Research Coordinator, will develop and implement the university’s transition to more data-driven decision-making processes.

Activity three involves establishing a cohesive advising and student success model that coincides with academics, student life, and student support. MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Andrew Pflipsen is directing this activity. As a part of this undertaking, a new advising center has been established at Mayville State and is being led by Director of Academic Advising Teri Wright, who is working together with a team of professional advisers.

These three grant-funded activities have been aligned with Mayville State University’s strategic plan goals, as well as those of the North Dakota University System. A comprehensive plan that includes measurable objectives, activities, and a complete evaluation plan has been developed.

Allison Johnson, Executive Director for Institutional Effectiveness is the Title III grant project lead and is tasked with ensuring project integrity, meeting and evaluating project outcomes. Significant to accomplishing these outcomes, Mayville State University is partnering with DMD Associates to support data collection and evaluation, ensuring the success of the project.

We are thrilled to have received this big influx of funding that we know will have a significant impact at Mayville State University. Thank you to Allison Johnson, Dr. Andrew Pflipsen, and Dr. Keith Stenehjem for the lead roles they are playing in this initiative, as well as all who are supporting them in the effort. This grant is making a difference in the life of the university, and in turn, it will greatly benefit our students. Stay tuned for further updates as the project gets underway.