In October 2019 Alvernia received the US Department of Education’s Title III Part A Strengthening Institutions Grant that will provide nearly $2.5 million over the course of five years to increase student achievement, persistence, and retention.


Using a thoughtfully outlined plan, members of the campus community are working together to design, pilot, and evaluate revisions to new student onboarding, First Year Experience, and faculty development. Additionally, the project includes hiring Navigators who will provide individualized support to students and encourage their connection with a variety of campus resources.


Together we will work to improve student success, instructional innovation, institutional retention, and improved graduation rates.


Title III: Strengthening Institutional Programs


SIP provides discretionary grants to eligible institutions of higher education (IHEs) to help them become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students, by providing funds to improve and strengthen the institution’s academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability. 

Five Year Goals & Measurable Objectives (2019 -2024)

Goal 1: Increase student engagement and retention through integrated student services. 

Goal 2: Increase retention through re-imagined and engaged Teaching and Learning.

Goal 3: Increase 4-year graduation rates through the combined impact of the project. 



Title III: Building Institutional Collaboration

Leadership Team & Title III Staff 

Project Directors: Dr. Rudy Ruth & Dr. Elizabeth Matteo

Activity Director: Lee Ann Bieber

Lead Navigator: TBA

Navigators : Shelly Wessner and Elise Jackson

Task Force

More than 20 campus leaders serve on the Title III Task Force. The team consists of key leaders in student success, advising, enrollment, and faculty development. The Task Force is closely involved in the implementation of the project and ensuring objectives and milestones are met. The Task Force meets once a month to address projects task, challenges, and progress. 

Design Teams

Design Teams have begun designing, piloting, implementing, and assessing key Title III project activities such as new student Onboarding, Navigation, First Year Experience, and Faculty Development. Each Design Team is assigned one of the grant activities to create/revise, pilot, and implement initiatives specified in the Title III Improving Institution Programs Grant with goals resulting in student and faculty success.



Faculty Instructional Innovation Grant


The Title III Instructional Innovation Grant awards annual support for Alvernia faculty of any rank for proposals implementing teaching and learning innovations that increase the engagement, learning, and persistence of low-income undergraduates through high impact instructional practices. Support for the process includes working collaboratively with an instructional designer to develop high impact instruction. Faculty Instructional Innovation Grants are awarded annually.   Proposed grants should be submitted during the “Call for Proposal” period which runs January through February.  Awards are announced each May.

2019-2020 Awards
  • Ondra Kielbasa & Michelle Serapiglia, BIO 103
  • Danielle Saad, COM 101
  • Eric Rectenwald & Steven Dougherty, BIO 107/117
  • Alicia Sprow, Carol Schwanger & Scott Davidson, SRH 101
  • Erin Way, PSY 101
2020-2021 Awards
  • Tracy Scheirer, NUR 209
  • Jodi Radosh, COM 342
  • Ryan Lange, COM 131
  • Jamie Becker, BIO 221
  • Matthew Prudente & David Shoup, Calculus Series





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