By Maureen Brakke
MONMOUTH, Ore.- Western Oregon University was recently awarded a prestigious U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Title III grant for the first time, securing the full amount of $2,048,136. This accomplishment was the result of a collaborative effort that engaged individuals from all corners of the university.
U.S. DOE Title III grants are federally funded grants that help qualifying higher education institutions expand their capacity to support underserved students by providing funds to improve and strengthen their academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability. The primary goal of Western’s grant is to increase the retention of first-time students, reduce equity gaps in retention, and foster a sense of belonging among its students. These funds will allow Western to innovate, expand, and improve systems for student support.
“We are overjoyed to share this incredible news with our community. Receiving a Title III grant is a significant milestone for Western, the first one for our university, and it reflects our dedication to providing the best possible education for our students,” said President Jesse Peters. “This achievement would not have been possible without the exceptional teamwork and dedication of our staff and faculty from across campus. We are immensely proud of what we have accomplished together.”
Notably, the grant proposal received a perfect score, a rare accomplishment for federal grants. This was also the first time Western applied for and received a Title III grant. The absence of any noted weaknesses underscores the exceptional quality of the grant proposal and the dedication of the grant team.
“This perfect score is a testament to the excellence and innovation that permeates our institution. It demonstrates what we can achieve when we come together as a campus community, believing, and working collaboratively towards a common goal of student success,” noted Provost Jose Coll.
Western looks forward to celebrating this historic achievement and the bright future it heralds for the university and its students. The Title III grant will undoubtedly open new doors and opportunities for the Western community.
About Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving about 4,000 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans, or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.