DEFIANCE, Ohio – Defiance College is the only college in Ohio among 30 colleges and universities across the country selected to receive grants under the second round of Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Walmart Foundation’s Walmart College Success Awards. The announcement was made this week by the CIC and the Walmart Foundation. Through the awards program, CIC member colleges and universities selected through a competitive application process will receive substantial grants to help strengthen exemplary programs that support the education of first-generation students. The selected institutions join 20 colleges and universities previously awarded grants in the first round. Of these 50 colleges, Defiance is the only one from Ohio.
Defiance College will receive a $50,000 grant to further its efforts to provide special individualized attention to first-generation students in order to help them achieve success in college.
“We are thrilled to be a recipient of this grant and to receive national recognition as a leader in the effort to assist first-generation students,” said Mark C. Gordon, president of Defiance College. “At Defiance College we focus on working with each student as an individual, providing a broad range of support, mentoring, advice, and assistance. This grant will enable us to work even more intensively one-on-one with a group of first generation college students to further improve their chances of success in college. I am particularly proud of the numerous ways that our faculty, administrators, staff, coaches, and alumni are all willing to work together to help these students reach their potential.”
Defiance will use the grant monies to implement parts of its innovative individualized approach in which students work with a team to create and refine their own Personal Success Plans for their college experience. Participating students will also receive added services, including expanded faculty and peer mentoring, targeted workshops, and focused cultural activities. The grant will also enable Defiance College to provide a broader level of support to an expanded group of incoming students whose backgrounds show the kinds of risk factors that have traditionally made college success particularly challenging.
“As the federal government and philanthropic leaders call for increased degree completion in higher education, small and mid-sized private institutions are an underutilized resource in this effort,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “Private colleges also enroll comparable or higher percentages of lower-income and first-generation students to public institutions and they require far less subsidy by state governments to succeed in meeting these national goals. Most importantly, small and midsized private institutions have moved beyond a focus on access to a record of unequalled success in retaining and graduating low-income and first-generation students.”
The selected institutions are expected to work together as a network to assist first-generation college students, learn from one another, and serve as models for other colleges and universities.
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of more than 600 independent, liberal arts colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that work together to strengthen college and university leadership, sustain high-quality education, and enhance private higher education’s contributions to society. To fulfill this mission, CIC provides its members with skills, tools, and knowledge that address aspects of leadership, financial management and performance, academic quality, and institutional visibility. The Council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.cic.edu.
The Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From Feb. 1, 2009 through Jan. 31, 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $512 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally, $467 million of which was donated in the U.S. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.
Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is www.defiance.edu.
May 19, 2010