Strengthening Historically Black
Colleges & Universities (HBCUs)
Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965 authorized a program of federal financial assistance to assist developing institutions of higher education to strengthen their academic quality and administrative capacity so that they could become self-sufficient. The reauthorizations have focused on funding institutions that enroll large proportions of minority and financially disadvantage students with low per-student expenditures. In addition, it encouraged African Americans to enroll in graduate school upon completion of their undergraduate degree.
Title III Part B
In September 2009 Huston-Tillotson received its Grant Award Notification (GAN) from the Department of Education for continued funding under The Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and University Program (HBCU Grant). For the budget period October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010 The University’s Title III Program PART B, was awarded $2,295,167.00 to uphold the University’s commitment to meeting the objectives and goals expressed in the 2007-2012 grant application.
The 2007-2012 Title III Project includes ten (10) pre-planned activities designed to establish and strengthening the University’s physical plant, financial management, academic resources, and student services. These activities which are funded through the U.S. Department of Education, consists of a variety of strategies that are being used to continue developing/reviewing academic areas; providing incentives for professional development, administrative management operations, improving student services programs that are designed to improve academic performance, purchasing/upgrading equipment, and enhancing instructional media capabilities.
Volume I, Issue
October – December 2009
Volume 1, Issue 2
January – March 2010
Strengthening The University’s Institutional Effectiveness And Student Learning Outcomes
The purpose of this Activity is to strengthen HT’s institutional effectiveness through research, assessment, evaluation and training of both faculty and staff. Documentation of student leaning outcomes in higher education has become a standard expectation for regional accreditation organizations, funding agencies, public entities, business and government. Similarly, demonstrating institutional effectiveness which encompasses the evaluation of both academic and administrative performance in supporting the mission, goals and objectives of the institution, is critical for the success of all institutions of higher education. The focus of this Activity is improving our institutional practices and creating a culture of evidence that guides the institution in data-based decision-making. The ultimate aims of this Activity are:
- To create a culture of assessment guided by the Institution’s Strategic Plan.
- To improve student learning outcomes and demonstrate such improvement.
- To train faculty and staff to assess, document, and use the analysis of outcomes data to improve student learning.
The Department of Information Technology will support this Activity.
Strengthening The University’s Expanded Infrastructure And Effectiveness
This Activity is essential to Huston-Tillotson University operations because it establishes the foundation for all academic, financial and programmatic data used to plan and deliver educational services. Given significant expansions in information systems and diversity of business operations, the University needs supplemental funding to ensure that critical data is captured, reliable and transferable for internal monitoring, as well as, external reporting. To address these needs, this activity will include the following components:
- Component 1 – Information Technology
- Component 2 – Funds and Records Management
These two components, Information Technology and Funds and Records Management, have discrete objectives. However, both components must be coordinated to promote data integrity and establish system integration. Under the oversight of the Activity Director, the Vice President for Administration and Finance, each component will have designated staff responsible for developing and implementing data management processes. The staff funded and work performed under these components will advance institutional goals for maintaining sound financial management and effective technology infrastructure.
Strengthening Student Retention Through Academic Innovations and Student Services Which Support Academic Success
The purpose of this Activity is to increase student retention through quality academic advising and supplemental instruction for the First-Year Experience program, comprehensive counseling and disability services, and learning communities, which integrate the curriculum with co-curricular activities. This Activity is predicated on services and programs to help students overcome the primary reasons for student attrition such as inadequate academic preparation and the lack of a supportive network for the collegiate experience. The ultimate aims of this activity are:
- To improve student learning and persistence to graduation.
- To cultivate social, leadership, and civic opportunities that foster student development.
- To encourage lifelong learning and overall wellness.
This Activity will be lead and supported through a collaborative effort between Academic Support Services and Student Affairs.
Strengthening Global Learning through Marketing Technology
Globalization and Internet technology have had a major influence on marketing. There is now a need to develop marketing strategies that look at a global environment of more informed customers, more flexible competitors, and additional ways of reaching consumers. In addition the rapid growth of the Internet as a medium for communications, as a channel of distribution, and as a way of reaching individual customers efficiently and effectively, has not only affected marketing manager decision-making but has created the need for new directions in marketing. New methodologies for teaching marketing are being developed which focus on the interactivity of marketing and technology.
At Huston-Tillotson University, students are still taught the concepts of marketing utilizing the old traditional methodology – mainly lecture based. There is a need for our students to understand the interactivity of marketing and technology in the global environment. They need to understand how the Internet and email can be used to gather marketing intelligence from around the world and how to transmit information worldwide.
Utilizing Title III funds, Huston-Tillotson proposes to address this need by developing a program that focuses on teaching the latest marketing technology and to adapt marketing strategy to a global environment. The creation of a Center for Marketing Technology will give our students the opportunity to become knowledgeable and skilled in integrating the concepts of marketing and technology. The Center’s staff will be responsible for coordinating all initiatives in this area, including the offering of mini-classes and workshops on internet marketing for students and faculty. The staff will also be responsible for making certain that the Center has a state-of-the-art information infrastructure. There will also be other duties such as developing external relationships with organizations having similar interests for collaboration on research projects.
Strengthening the Curriculum through a Center for Science and Interdisciplinary Studies (CSIS)
CSIS – This activity proposes to establish a Center for Science and Interdisciplinary Studies (CSIS). The Center is designed to attract more minority students to STEM degree programs; expand STEM offerings to prepare students for emerging interdisciplinary STEM careers; and involve faculty in professional development activities that will advance their disciplinary and pedagogical knowledge. The STEM initiative in the project will focus on activities that support the on-going formal STEM courses.
The Center will identify interdisciplinary programs, especially in STEM fields that attract students to HT and enhance student opportunities to pursue professional and graduate degrees in emerging integrative degree programs. Through CSIS, partnerships will be sought with other institutions to activate a “pipeline” by which Huston-Tillotson students enter a profession or earn a graduate degreee at a partnership institution. Furthermore, current degree offerings, especially in STEM fields, at Huston-Tillotson University will be studied and wherever feasible amalgamated into a interdisciplinary degree that is in high demand, globally. A tentative list of possible interdisciplinary degree programs are: Forensic Science involving Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Criminal Justice; Environmental Assessment involving Biology, Chemistry, and Physics; Entertainment Management invovlving Business and Music; Global Learning and Mass Media involving Business and Communications; and Industrial Engineering involving STEM fields. Proposed joint degree programs are: Science and Engineering (HT and PV); Political Science and Public Administration (HT and LBJ); and Allied Health and Nursing (HT and PV, UTHSC). Various partnering universities will identified to serve in the implementation of the joint degree “pipeline” program.
Honors Program – The purpose of this Activity is to strengthen the University’s Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) emphasis through initiatives that will help honor students in these fields develop professional leadership skills and facilitate their entry into graduate and professional schools. Moreover, this Activity will enhance academic excellence through targeted initiatives in the honors curriculum. Since its inception in 2003, the Honors Program has successfully implemented a curriculum and activities- based agenda to meet the special needs of high achieving, gifted and talented students. The students in the Honors Program have consistently excelled academically and have demonstrated knowledge, skill and maturity through their paticipation in a vaiety of campus leadership roles.
Strengthening the Capacity for Sustaining University Growth and Enhancing the University’s Image
Huston-Tillotson University’s 2001-2010 Strategic Plan describes increases in student scholarships, academic programs, student support programs and professional development opprotunities. The Plan includes major initiatives to revitalize campus buildings and construct three new buildings – a health and wellness center, a child-care learning facility, and adult housing units. The University needs to implement these projects to grow enrollment, address student retention and stay competitive with peer institutions. To undergrid the initiatives the University must create self-perpetuating endowments.
The goal is also to strengthen exisiting infrastructure to facilitate growth by improving sustainability through a comprehensive development program. Strengthening the capacity of the Institutional Advancement Program will help to build a organizational structure that can efficiently respond to future opportunities, accept additional challenges, and implement a comprehensive development plan that includes a systematic approach to reach donors, research new investment opportunities, upgrade software, obtain the latest in technology, and launch a capital campaign. Over the next five years, the Univeristy plans to increase its financial resources to support capital improvements and to supplement the University’s operational budget to fund non-budgeted initiatives.
Currently, the University is facing cuts in funding from traditional sources, even as we continue to support growing academic departments, increased requests for scholarship programs, and expanding operational budgets. To supplement an Annual Fund Program and launch a comprehensive capital campaign requires state-of-the-art technology and an adequately trained staff. The overall gaol is for Huston-Tillotson University is to sustain itself with a continuous flow of new funds from a larger pool of investors, stronger alumni giving, and a clean donor prospect database.
Improving Students Academic Success By Implementing Comprehensive University Writing And Communication Programs
Essential to the University’s mission “to provide an exemplary education grounded in the arts and sciences, balanced with professional development and directed to public service and leadership” is a comprehensive, writing and communications curriculum integrated throughout the disciplines and all levels of undergraduate study. Focused on the number one skill set demanded by the careers, professions and graduate schools for which the University prepares students, a University Writing and Communication Program (UWCP) will ensure that every HT undergraduate student, regardless of major or classification, is provided opportunities to develop writing and communication skills required of college graduates. Comprehensive in scope, it is designed to address student needs from matriculation to graduation through a strong foundational liberal arts and pre-professional education. The driving purpose of the proposed University Writing and Communications Program is to foster a campus-wide academic culture that cultivates writing and communications as a lifelong learning activity essential to civic engagement and leadership, professional success and personal fullfillment.
Strengthening the Science and Engineering Programs Through Early Targeting Innovative Methods and Monitor Initiatives With Local Texas Universities
The purpose of this activity is to strengthen and re-energize the 2 to 3 science and engineering programs at Huston-Tillotson University through the early targeting, enhanced innovative methods, and monitoring initiatives with local Universities in Texas. Some examples of these partnerships will be with schools like Prairie View A & M Univeristy, Texas State University, and the Universtiy of Texas at Austin.
- The primary focus of this Activity is on improving our institutional practices and enhancing and creating a culture of outreach and success that guides the institiution toward enhancing and creating a culture of outreach and success that guides the institution toward enhancing the African-American male initiatives and underrepresented students. The primary objecitves of this Activity are:
- To re-energrize the 2-3 science and engineering program and create a culture of outreach and assessment guided by the institutions 2001-2010 Strategic Plan.
- To improve student participation and learning outcomes toward computer, computational, electrical manufacturing, and industrial engineering programs.
- To train faculty to assess, document, and use these types of 2-3 analysis of outcomes data to enhance student learning for the African-American male initiative and underrepresented students that leads to a full four (4) year engineering program in the above areas.
This Activity will be led and supported by a partnership between the School of Business and Technology, College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (IRA) and the Offices of the Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. The Department of Information Technology (IT) will support this activity as part of the overall records and management.
Strengthening Academic and Administrative Services Through Faculty/Staff Development Program
The purpose of this Activity is to strengthen faculty and staff pedagogical and professional skills to improve instruction, student learning outcomes, scholarly achievement research, and the delivery of student services. Professional education of faculty and staff is an essential part of providing a quality education to students. In order to create a context that fosters student learning, the faculty must be well versed in different pedagogical strategies that will most effectively engage the student population. In addition, staff must be knowledgeable of advances in their field to make work more efficient and effective.
The faculty and staff professional meeting component will provide opportunities for faculty and staff to attend professional meetings, seminars, workshops and symposia, or graduate credit-bearing courses or programs. Participation in such activities enable faculty and staff to engage in discussions with their peers and share and exchange strategies to enchance effectiviness. Faculty and staff who attend such meetings will be required to share information with their HT colleagues and write a post activity report. The knowledge from these workshops will be shared campus-wide.
The Faculty/Staff Seminar component will provide an opportunity for faculty and staff to participate in working retreats, workshops, and other training activities on the HT campus during the summer and during the academic year. The funds would be used for expenses related to bringing guest lecturers from other institutions of higher education and regional accreditation agencies to HT for intensive work sessions with HT faculty and stafff to improve the quality of teaching, learning and professional proactice on the HT campus and to provide funds for faculty/staff to travel to professional development seminars. These seminars will be organized through the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) and Faculty/Staff development coordinator.
The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs will lead activities related to faculty and staff development to foster effective teaching and learning on the HT campus.
Huston-Tillotson University is governed by a Board of Trusteees which delegate responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the University to the President who serves as Chief Executive Officer. He is assisted by an Executive Cabinet composed of an Executive Assistant to the President, the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, and the Vice President for Institutional Advancement. The Project Administator reports directly to the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs who will be involved in the Project implementation. Since this project is an integral part of the total institution, The Activity Directors will report to the Dean of Arts and Sciences or the Dean of Business and Technology. However, with respect to the project activities, they will be responsible to the Project Administrator/Coordinator also.
The responsibility for the overall administration of the Project is delegated to the Title III Coordinator. The Coordinator will devote 100% of his time to ensure that effective and efficient administration of the Project is carried out. The Title III Coordinator will monitor and coordinate the efforts of all Strengthening HBCU’s Activities over the five-year period (2007-2012). He will work closely with the President, the Assistant Coordinator, the Administrative Council, and major unit.