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DSU Student Success Center Awarded $2M+ Federal Grant

CLEVELAND, Miss. —Delta State University’s Student Success Center has been awarded a US Department of Education Title III Strengthening Institutions Program grant for a total of $2,246,742 over the next 5 years. The grant, 100% funded by the US Department of Education, is to fund Destination Graduation, a program to help current undergraduate and graduate students overcome barriers to continued enrollment and persist to graduation.

DSU President Dr. Dan Ennis said, “I want to thank the staff of the Student Success Center for their hard work and dedication in obtaining this grant, which will directly translate into increased opportunities for our students. This kind of initiative and commitment to Delta State is the type of thing that assures me we are positioned to make great strides forward in the coming years.”

Activity objectives for Destination Graduation aimed at increasing retention and reducing stop-out (withdrawing temporarily) include student support services such as summer bridge, supplemental instruction, tutoring, and increasing access and awareness of financial aid opportunities for Delta State students. These interventions are ongoing at DSU, and this funding will strengthen these programs by providing supplemental instructors, interns, and staff fully devoted to these programs.

Dr. Leslie Griffin, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said, “As its title, Destination Graduation, implies, this grant focuses on helping students to see themselves as ‘doers of the task at hand’—that is, being capable of successfully working toward and accomplishing the goal of college graduation.”

Griffin said that the grant provides the support necessary for students to experience success and persist along the pathway to graduation. “In reaching this destination, their potential for future career and life successes is greatly enhanced.”

Dr. Heather Kovarcik Miller, Director of the Office of Institutional Grants said, “Delta State University is so pleased to have been awarded a US Department of Education Title III Strengthening Institutions Program grant. Destination Graduation aims to capitalize on the academic success programs offered through the DSU Student Success Center by creating additional student-focused activities that increase retention and will assist students in their goal of graduation.”

Kristen Land, Interim Director of the Student Success Center, said, “This was indeed a true team effort by Dr. Christy Riddle, Chrisa Mansell and her team, and Dr. Heather Miller. The Student Success Center is excited to expand our services through this funding.  This award will allow us to provide a summer bridge program for incoming students, increase opportunities for tutoring and supplemental instruction, and increase awareness of student support services.  Our focus is student retention and graduation… Destination Graduation will provide more students with the resources and supports needed.”

For more information about the Student Success Center and Destination Graduation, visit the website at