UNCP gets $2.1 million federal Department of Education grant


A two-year federal grant totaling $2.1 million has been awarded to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke to strengthening institutional capacity for student and faculty advancement.


Dr. William Gash

Dr. William Gash

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions Program.

The project director for UNCP was DrWilliam H. Gash, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

“This is a great opportunity for the University to impact student advising,” Dr. Gash said. “There will be training opportunities for faculty advisors and more full-time advisors hired with these funds.  

“Funds from the grant are also available to assist faculty in completing their terminal degrees,” he continued. “We have a number of faculty working toward the terminal degree, and grant funds will allow some faculty to complete the degree within the next several years.” 

The design of the project is based on two goals that address pressing UNCP student and faculty needs:

The first goal is to increase institutional capacity to serve our students by improving advising, strengthening academic support, and enhancing connectivity, thereby improving students’ retention and graduation rates. Activities planned to achieve this goal are:

  • hiring and training professional and faculty advisors for improved advising;
  • expanding tutoring services to include support for upper level coursework;
  • providing supportive instruction to at-risk students for several sections of English Composition courses; and
  • enhancing student engagement in their second year at UNCP through a series of focused activities/events and on-line and campus resources.

The second goal is to increase the number of full-time faculty who possess a terminal degree and/or pursue a terminal degree. The following support mechanisms are available to eligible program participants:

  • course releases;
  • non-salary financial support; and
  • campus-based resources including seminar series and panel discussions pertinent to doctoral coursework and dissertation topics and development of peer support networks.

Sen. Richard Burr’s staff helped to shape legislation in 2007 via the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, designating a portion of U.S. Department of Education Title III funds for non-tribal colleges and universities with 10 percent or higher Native American student enrollment.  UNCP's grant award is from the first competitive cycle of funding.

Team members were Susan Edkins, director of the Athletic Training Education Program; Sarah Francisco, assistant director of the Career Center; Dr. Anita Guynn, a faculty member with Department of English and Theatre; Darcy Hayes, academic support coordinator with the Center for Academic Excellence; Symphony Oxendine, associate director for the Office of Student Life; Saundra Richardson-Cox, director, Center for Academic Excellence; and Dr. Velinda Woriax,  a faculty member with the Biology Department.

Participating in the area of faculty development are Dr.Barbara Synowiez, chair of the Nursing Department and Cammie Hunt-Oxendine, acting dean of the School of Business.

Questions about the grant may be directed to the Office for Sponsored Research and Programs at 910.521.6292.