BETHANY, W.Va. — In a groundbreaking achievement, Bethany College has been awarded a significant federal grant of $2,200,154, titled the 2023 Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant. This grant aims to propel Bethany College towards a future of enhanced student success, academic excellence, and streamlined student services.  

Bethany College’s, “Building Connections for Student Success and Excellence in Advising,” project sets ambitious goals across academic programs, institutional management, and fiscal stability. A significant portion of the grant will be invested in renovating the T.W. Phillips Memorial Library. With a focus on integrating high impact advising and educational experiences, centralizing student services, and fortifying fiscal stability, the project is geared toward serving a vibrant and growing student population. The College will contribute alongside the federal grant award for a total investment of $2,410,154 toward this endeavor. 

The grant will empower Bethany College to establish a cutting-edge Student Success and Advising Center (SSAC). This state-of-the-art center will focus on fostering a conducive environment for students to receive personalized guidance and support. The grant will implement innovative strategies and data-driven approaches to enhance student success and retention. This includes implementing a new CRM system to centralize essential data, training employees, and establishing proactive advising practices.  

“In receiving this substantial federal grant, Bethany College takes a momentous leap towards our shared vision of fostering student success and enhancing educational opportunities,” says Bethany President Dr. Jamie Caridi. “This grant is not just a financial boost; it represents a profound commitment to our students and their future. Through the ‘Building Connections for Student Success and Excellence in Advising’ project, we are not only renovating physical spaces but also transforming lives. Our dedication to personalized guidance, inclusivity, and academic excellence will be fortified through this endeavor. With these resources, Bethany College is not just creating a Student Success and Advising Center; we are constructing a bridge to brighter futures, empowering every student to reach their fullest potential. Together, we are shaping a future where education knows no boundaries and where every student can thrive and succeed.”  

An Executive Director of Student Success and Advising will be hired to serve as the Director for the SSAC and the Title III Project Director. Three academic advisors with experience in higher education advising will be hired. While all of the academic advisors will be skilled at serving at-risk and underrepresented populations, one will be specifically dedicated to and have experience in multicultural advising via a diversity, inclusivity, and belonging lens. 

Bethany College is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. Through strategic hiring, open forums, and active participation with support services, the College aims to remove barriers to education.  

The renovations within the library will create versatile multi-purpose areas, enhancing the overall learning experience for students. The College projects a substantial return on investment through increased student retention, persistence, and graduation rates.  

Ninety-one percent of the $2,410,154, which is the total cost of the Building Connections for Student Success and Excellence in Advising project, will be financed with federal money. The $2,200,154 received from the SIP grant will be dispersed over five years with $1,990,154 to be used towards excellence in academic advising, including a new CRM system, initial staffing and training, and the renovation and outfitting of library spaces. The other $210,000 will go towards Bethany’s endowment with a 9% or $210,000 non-federal match — making a total of $420,000 for the College’s endowment. Bethany will absorb additional costs over the grant period, including staffing, and will be self-sustaining after the grant concludes. 

With the infusion of this grant, Bethany College is poised to make transformative strides in the realm of education. Through strategic initiatives, technological advancements, and unwavering commitment, Bethany College is paving the way for a future where every student can thrive and succeed.