The University of Tennessee at Martin has been awarded a five-year Title III Strengthening Institutions Program grant totaling $1,543,212 to implement the UT Martin Elevating for Take-Off project.
“We are honored to have been awarded this Title III grant,” said Executive Director of Enrollment Services and Student Engagement Dr. Jamie Mantooth, who will serve as the project director. “There is so much good work and so many good ideas happening at UTM to support our students and faculty. This grant aligns with our strategic plan and our Quality Enhancement Plan and will now help us put some of these ideas into action.”
The two institutional goals under the project are:
• To create a center for teaching and learning to provide training and resources to improve progression, retention and student success
• To create a learning commons to centralize learning support services and expand high-impact practices
The funding period begins this month and continues through September 2028. Expected outcomes include:
• An increased retention rate of full-time undergraduate students and first-time full-time freshmen
• Increased progression rates for all full-time undergraduate students
• Increased student usage and availability of learning support services
• Increased professional development certification for faculty
Dr. Brad Baumgardner, director of retention, and Dr. Erik Nordberg, dean of the Paul Meek Library, will serve as key supports in executing project activities.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Title III Strengthening Institutions Program “helps eligible institutes of higher education to become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.”
Alisha Melton is the executive director of the UT Martin Office of Research, Outreach and Economic Development and coordinated the Title III proposal team.
“This Title III funding provides an opportunity to develop an extraordinary framework of support for our students and faculty,” she said. “Our initiatives will create two specialized units with a common goal of increasing student success through improved resources for faculty, increased academic assistance for students, and centralizing resources and reporting.”
UT Martin previously received Title III funding in 2014 which improved facilities for the Veterinary Health Technology Program, created a culture of assessment for campus accreditation and improvement, established new student leadership initiatives, implemented new campus advising software and launched a new faculty program yielding more than 20 faculty research projects.
More information about the grant can be found at the U.S. Department of Education website here.