By: Jasmine Saunders, Editor-in-Chief
Delaware State University offers students numerous opportunities to acquire skills to make their mark on the world. The ETV’s new Mac lab, the athletic study hall center in the library, and even peer counseling services don’t just appear. These initiatives all have something in common – they were all paid for through Title III funds.
Title III is a federal grant program that supports education.
Part B of the program is specifically for the educational support of historically black colleges and universities. Part B of Title III has three components – the HBCU grant; the Historically Black Graduate Institution (HBGI) grant; and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) grant.
One of the departments to benefit from Title III is the Revitalizing Excellence and Expectations in Math and Science (REEMS) tutoring program located in the William C. Jason Library. The SAFRA funding had been used to revamp the previous five-year program to facilitate development in science and math so that it could better accommodate the students who participate in this new iteration.
Part of the revamp process included an online scheduling program that makes it easier for students to determine which tutors are available for them. The new Center of Excellence for Student Success even has new tables that make collaborative learning manageable.
Vanessa Nesbit, the activity director for the REEMS program said that even though this program is centered in STEM, it extends to everyone because STEM is comprehensive and cannot be confined only to students in those majors, she said.
The counselling services department has also benefitted from Title III funds. Their funding is used to support a 15-year peer counselling program that has 13 trained peer professional counsellors that support students and make it a place for them to comfortably talk about their issues.
“The research supports that a peer professional can be just as effective with people who are having different developmental difficulties as a professional,” said Dr. Michael Monk, the director for the department.
The program has been a success. “Initially I was doing research on the number of students that actually go through the peer counselling program and graduate, but that became overwhelming,” he said.
The students who participate in these programs believe that the funding can help them really make a difference with their peers. Gemini Phillips, a senior biology major says that her position as a tutor in the Center for Excellence for Student Success is a great way to guide students.
“It’s not just about the tutoring, it’s about the mentorship too,” she said.
Emani Smith, a junior psychology major says it’s a good experience to be a peer counselor. Students are more inclined to open up to a peer. Plus it’s beneficial when trying to help students deal with their day-to-day so they can succeed academically and socially.
“We’re human; we have our own issues [and] we need people to talk to,” Smith said.
These are just a few of the enhancements that Title III funding has supported. Scholarship is one of the core values of DSU, so look forward to this financial source creating more opportunities for students to do just that.