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GSU, Spelman To Get Grants To Boost Retention, Graduation Rates

Georgia State University and Spelman College were among 17 institutions chosen for the federal First in the World grant program.
Georgia State University and Spelman College were among 17 institutions chosen for the federal First in the World grant program.
Credit CATHERINE MULLINS / WABE

Two Atlanta colleges will get federal education grants to help them boost retention and graduation rates.

The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that Spelman College and Georgia State University will receive more than $11 million total toward those efforts.

Georgia State will get almost $9 million. The university has tracked all of its students for the last three years to see what factors cause some to drop out. GSU will work with other universities — in states like Arizona, Texas and Ohio — to expand that research.

“What we’re going to do with this $9 million is in effect try to do the first truly scientific study across multiple institutions of the impact of these kind of approaches on students and their ability to graduate,” said Tim Renick, GSU’s vice provost and vice president for enrollment management and student success.

Spelman will get $2.6 million. College President Mary Schmidt Campbell said the money will go toward training faculty to work with students on metacognitive learning.

“[We’re focusing on] making students more aware of the study skills, habits and practices that lead to learning success,” Schmidt Campbell said.

She said students who don’t learn good study habits often get discouraged and drop out.

The two schools were part of a group of 17 institutions chosen to participate in the First in the World grant program.