The Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education recently announced a notice inviting applications in the Federal Register for the Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP). SIP provides $17.8 million in discretionary grants to eligible institutions of higher education to help them become self sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students, by providing funds to improve and strengthen the institutionâ€™s academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability. The Department will give priority to applications that address the following areas:
- Support activities that will improve the institutionâ€™s persistence and graduation rates.
- Work with the appropriate State agencies to develop strategies for using State longitudinal data systems to track outcomes for students attending the grantee institution, including the extent to which the students complete certificates, two-year degrees, and four-year degrees at other institutions.
- Develop academic programs to improve course completion rates or develop innovative support programs that are designed to increase completion rates.
- Develop dual enrollment programs that facilitate the transition between high school and college or career pathway programs that integrate basic academic instruction with technical or professional occupational training to advance individuals, particularly adult learners, on a career path toward high-wage occupations in high-demand industries.
The deadline to apply is August 5, 2010.