Dear faculty, staff, and students,
I am always excited to see the campus come alive after a few months’ summer respite. Even though our buildings were home to summer campers and conference attendees recently, there’s a special something in the air on campus as we prepare for the start of the fall term.
For faculty and staff, the new academic year kicked off last Friday as we held our annual Opening Assembly. I heard firsthand that many of you appreciated the professional development sessions we delivered that day and the informal time getting reconnected with colleagues. For those of you who are interested in my remarks that highlighted the many things we accomplished over the summer months, you can find them here.
I mentioned the grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education in those remarks, and here are details on this development. This $680,114 grant funds a program called Mentorship for Student Excellence (MSE) that will be administered by Hiram’s Office of Student Affairs. The MSE program is designed to connect trained peer mentors from Hiram with Tri-C students we aim to enroll as Hiram transfer students in years hence. Mentors and mentees alike will freely and easily traverse the distance between the two campuses on a handicap-accessible van that will be purchased with grant funds.
Another highly appealing component of the grant is that it provides significant financial assistance to all involved. Tri-C students, who participate as mentees and go on to pursue their bachelor’s degree at Hiram, will receive sizable scholarships at the time of transfer. The scholarship is designed to significantly mitigate the cost of degree completion. At the same time, each Hiram student serving as a mentor will receive a nice stipend and a bookstore voucher to help cover the costs of books and college supplies.
But there is more still. Thankfully, funds from the grant will allow us to roll out Tech and Trek to students who are dually enrolled with Hiram and Tri-C East as part of Hiram Complete. Beginning in Spring 2018, these students will be equipped with the same technology package the Traditional College students are getting this week.
It is our expectation that a grant of this magnitude will help us improve baccalaureate degree completion rates, make the attainment of the four-year degree more affordable and timely, and ensure that Tri-C natives who earn a Hiram degree are developing the 21st-century skills that will help them land a job and build a career.
I am sure many of you will be interested to watch the MSE program grow over the coming months, but for those who would like to see something exciting happen soon, you’re in luck. Tech and Trek, the College’s new 1:1 mobile technology program, will officially launch on Sunday. I encourage everyone to come out, join with other members of the community, and enjoy the myriad of activities available (the schedule is available here). It will truly be an important day in Hiram’s history.
I look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday.