The Title III Program is a United States federal grant program to improve education. It began as part of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which sought to provide support to strengthen various aspects of schools through a formula grant program to accredited, legally authorized Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The purpose of this program is to provide financial assistance to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to establish or strengthen their physical plants, financial management, academic resources, and endowment-building capacity. Activities may include student services, education equipment acquisitions, facility construction, and faculty and staff development.
Tuskegee University receives funding through three programs under the Title III Strengthening HBCUs Grant Programs: (1) Part B - Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), (2) Part F - SAFRA (Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act), to assist in meeting various University Strategic Goals and Part F - FUTURE (Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education).
For further information on the Title III Strengthening HBCUs Grant Program at Tuskegee University, please see the information below:
Program Administration is the executive arm of the Title III Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Program. The Title III Director supervises all aspects of the Program. The Director reports directly to the President of the University ensuring that the program's operation is consistent with the goals of the overall institutional development as described in the HBCU plan providing a holistic focus on all University Strategic Planning Goals. The Title III Project Coordinator assist in monitoring each component of the program to ensure compliance with federal, state and university regulations.
Ms. Genece Blackmon, MSPSE, MA
Title III Director (HBCU, SAFRA & FUTURE)
Tompkins Hall, Suite 401
Activity 1: Enhancing Student Retention Through Tutoring, Counseling and Student Academic Skills Programs
The vision for Enhancing Student Retention through Tutoring, Counseling and Student Academic Skills Programs, in alignment with the University's mission, is to actively support and provide an environment for students that will assist in their skills development as learners, thereby, leading to success in coursework, careers and life. The mission for Enhancing Student Retention through Tutoring, Counseling and Student Academic Skills Programs will embrace academic enrichment efforts and augment specific general education courses through academic advising counseling, academic skills development, first-year orientation courses, and 504 ADA Accommodations for undergraduate student enrolled at Tuskegee University during the 2017-2021 academic years. Each area will pursue to develop and implement program activities and/or services that will positively influence our student's success in coursework and matriculation among program of discipline.
TU students will have an opportunity to engage in a host of activities as it relates to tutoring (onsite and online), application enrichment of subject-based and/or topic specific course content, critical thinking and concept application, academic skills workshops, one-on-one counseling with academic advising, ADA accommodations and academic success, etc.
In an effort to ensure comprehensive involvement for student success, quality services, and improvements within support operations and interactions, reporting of efforts and trainings among faculty, staff and students, the following objectives will measure to:
Over the next five years, the expected outcomes for students utilizing the REACH Center services are measurable increases in:
Activity 2: Enhancing Academic Instruction through Faculty Development
Over the next five (5) years, Tuskegee University plans to implement a robust schedule of faculty development with the primary goal of enhancing academic instruction. This effort will be accomplished through four broad thrusts or objectives. Objective one (1) is to identify outside speakers to educate faculty regarding best practices and new instructional methods. Driven by institutional data, objective 2 is to identify strong teaching faculty to offer seminars to other faculty members through a “lunch and learn” series. Objective 3 is to offer instruction in order to increase the use of Blackboard Learn, the learning management system at TU, in order to improve student learning and overall retention. The final objective, objective 4, is to support opportunities for independent faculty development. This is a critical area for new faculty, who can benefit from aggressive professional development, and outstanding faculty, who are at the forefront of developing best practices nationally and are equipped to guide their own continued development.
For objective one (1), on average, at least fifty percent of full time faculty will participate in workshops and webinars by non-TU presenters on instructional strategies that promote student engagement and success. Workshop facilitators will be identified through a variety of mechanisms, including but not limited to, faculty suggestions obtained through surveys, national organizations like the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), and regional accreditors like the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Outcomes data will be collected through both surveys and direct assessment of student performance as voluntarily reported by participating faculty.
For objective two (2), Tuskegee University faculty will be identified to serve as peer instructors based on recommendations from Deans, other faculty members (including self-nomination), and student evaluations of teaching and other institutional data available. These faculty members will conduct lunch and learn sessions scheduled throughout the school year. Similar to objective one (1), outcomes data will be collected through surveys and direct assessment of student performance as voluntarily reported by participating faculty.
For objective three (3), the goal is to increase the use of Blackboard Learn, the learning management system. Faculty use of Blackboard will be benchmarked through a survey and/or information from the Tuskegee University Office of Information Technology. Once benchmark data is obtained, faculty incentives will be identified and communicated for increased use of the LMS. Additionally, training sessions will be scheduled in conjunction with IT and the Office of Distance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL) to increase faculty proficiency with the tool. The overall goal is to increase use of the LMS by 25% over the performance period of the grant.
Finally, for objective four (4), faculty members will receive support to engage in independent development activities. Faculty will self-select for these opportunities and provide plans to improve instruction based on their participation in the development activities they have chosen. Both indirect (student surveys) and direct assessments will be allowed to demonstrate the success of the faculty member.
Activity 3: Enhancing Institutional Effectiveness and Improving Student Retention through Increased Engagement and Data-Informed Decision-Making
Tuskegee University supports the belief that adopting a culture that embraces the use of data in decision making will not only improve institutional decision-making, but positively impact student achievement.
Strategies for integrating data into the Tuskegee University decision-making culture includes an updated fact book, submission of external surveys to support benchmarking activities, trend analysis on enrollment, retention rates and graduation rates to help identify best practices to increase the numbers in all three areas, and dissemination of accurate and timely information to
Campus stakeholders by using collaboratively designed and regularly delivered reports to decision makers.
Assessment, analysis, and accreditation co-exist to provide a strong support for continuous availability of information useful for data supported decision-making while developing capacity to effectively assess and document quality programmatic improvements and support academic departments preparedness for discipline-specific specialized accreditation.
Ongoing assessment will be conducted via assessment plans that include action plans based on assessment findings. An academic program self-study report conducted on a five-year rotation cycle tracks the trend of assessment activities and improvement strategies.
Tuskegee University recognizes that multiple measures are necessary to establish the validity (are we measuring what we think we are measuring) of our assessment. Each type of assessment provides valuable information that can be useful for improving programs. Not every method will be used for every activity. Tuskegee University activities for Enhancing Institutional Effectiveness and Improving Student Retention through Engagement and Data-Informed Decision Making, over the next five years are as follows:
• To strengthen institutional effectiveness through implementation of a comprehensive assessment professional development program for faculty, staff, and administrators
• To collaborate with academic and administrative units across the university to enhance institutional capacity to collect, analyze and disseminate evidence-demonstrating effectiveness in fulfilling the university’s mission and strategic plan.
• To provide analytical tools and strategies to leverage internal and external data sources to develop predictive models to support the strategic goals of enrollment growth and improved retention and graduation rates.
Activity 4: Development and Implementation of Expanded Library Resources
From the beginning of Tuskegee University, access to library materials has been essential to students and faculty. The Tuskegee University Library Services continue to provide access to resources for needed research and teaching.
Title III funding has been used to enhance library services by:
Purchasing library materials (books, journals, databases, e-resources) so that programs that require specialized accreditation is strengthened, especially in the sciences, humanities and engineering and to ensure that we are in compliance with the requirements of SACS and other accrediting agencies.
Ensuring that library staff is provided opportunities to attend conferences and workshops to stay current in the latest developments and trends in the field of library science.
Providing Information Literacy classes to facilitate positive student learning outcomes by enhancing the students learning – research capacities.
Providing access to the library’s management system. SIRSIDYNIX serves as the library’s management system. This system allows library users to check out books, check account status, renew books online and make online requests.
As technology continues to expand and the need for instant information is required, it is essential that we continue to provide access to library resources that support the curriculum for the undergraduate and graduate students.
Over the next five years:
Activity 5: Renovation/Construction of Instructional Facilities
The leadership at Tuskegee University is committed to providing physical resources that effectively advance achievement of the educational goals, research and public service mission of the institution. We recognize the imperative of providing a physical plant, including attractive, well-maintained buildings, state-of-the-art equipment, technological infrastructure, housing, administrative support and recreational facilities that satisfy the reasonable expectation of our students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders.
Facilities is responsible for the planning, development, and construction of all facilities on Tuskegee University's campus. Because of the unit participating in the annual strategic planning process, a 10-year facilities campus master plan was developed. The university’s mission, strategic goals, and the reasonable expectations of stakeholders (students, faculty, staff, alumni, visitors, government agencies and others) guided the plan. The plan was approved by the Board of Trustees at the March 2017 Board of Trustees Meeting.
Tuskegee University’s 5-year plan for renovation/construction needs, under this activity, will be contingent on the buildings that house the professional programs who will be seeking reaccreditation. In the next five (5) years, the following programs will be reviewed for reaccreditation:
Activity 6: Transform and Enhance Campus Network Security, Reliability and Availability
The Office of Information Technology (OIT) will work to increase the campus network relaibality, availability and security through managed services to include 24/7 monitoring and remediate risks in campus data center by reconfiguring layout of physical network cabling, hardware and fire suppresion system. Procedures will be established for incident, change and problem management for network and security on campus. Firewall enhancements will be installed to leverage threat detection and threat prevention features with next gen firewalls. The OIT will ensure firewall rules meet 100% regulatory and audit compliance metrics.
Activity 1: Office of Distance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL)
The objectives for this activity are as follows:
Activity 2: Enhancing Academic Success for 21st Century Learners through Technology Advancement in Classrooms and Laboratories
The objectives for this activity are as follows:
Activity 1: Transforming Education through Online and Distance Learning
The Office of Online Academic Services & Instructional Systems (OASIS) will work to expand and enhance online degree program offerings and courses by adding one (1) online degree program and six (6) online certificate programs. They will enhance and expand support for 35% of faculty regarding the use of technology and distance education teaching.
By June 2021, a summer bridge program for Math 106 will be developed and offered to incoming students to assist those admitted to the University with low scores and/or conditional admits. It is projected at least 80% of the students who successfully complete the summer bridge program will pass Math 107.
Activity 2: Promoting Digital Transformation Across Institution: Reimagine and Standardize Technology, Solutions and Services
In collaboration with the Tuskegee University (TU) business units, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and Ellucian will modernize TU's enterprise resources planning solution (Ellucian Colleague) by implementing three (3) new Ellucian integration solutions across institutional business units and migrating to the Cloud. The projected completion of this task is September 30, 2021.
The OIT will establish a Data Governance Council and work to equip five (5) classrooms with "Smart" technologies to facilitate active learning in-person and online. The projected completion of these tasks is September 30, 2021.
Architecture Center of Design, Willcox A, second floor, The Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science
At the core of the Center’s mission is to target community projects that address historic preservation, environmental conservation, mixed-income affordable housing, mixed-use development and the integration of buildings. The Department of Architecture’s immediate goals are to identify revenue opportunities for scholarly research and hands-on activities for student learning at a range of levels. Strengthening ties with alumni firms and funding agencies to increase enrollment and support for scholarships, internships, and faculty development outcomes are additional funding needs. These efforts build coherence around the basic premise of the Center of Design and build on the following revenue categories to support student learning and scholarship opportunities.
The Center has visual and digital stations – A Smartboard, Microsoft Surface Pros, digital scanner, and a Microsoft Surface Studio – that accommodates room for the beginning stage of a full Center of Design Excellence. Space will support professional education in architecture, design and digital representation, and extra-curricular learning for students.
Center for Immersive Learning Technologies, The College of Arts & Sciences
Title III funding assisted the establishment of the Center for Immersive Learning Technologies located in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) at Tuskegee University. This center features Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality, fast advancing technologies used increasingly by many educators to improve learning outcomes. Virtual Reality allows a user to interact with a computer-generated three-dimensional model or virtual environment, thus enhancing experiential learning. Augumented reality is the technology that overlays the virtual objects on the real-world scene in real-time. Although, these technologies have been used in the schools and colleges for a while, the real development has been in the area of gaming. The existing educational content for higher education is focused on a few select subjects such as history, human anatomy and engineering. Using these the CAS faculty focused on training the students to create content and familarize themselves with VR technologies to not only enhance their learning but also make them more competitive in the job market.
As a result of the intitial Title III funding, the College of Arts & Sciences has been awarded two additional grants to continue their work in this area.