Haskell Indian Nations University is getting another $1.645 million from the federal government to help improve academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability.
The U.S. Department of Education this week disclosed that it would provide Haskell with the grant as part of a department program for tribally controlled colleges and universities. The money becomes available Friday, for use during the next 12 months.
Stephen Prue, who works in the Haskell president’s office, said the money would help boost services in the Haskell Success Center, designed to provide centralized advising, retention, outreach and career-placement services.
The center, new this semester, is intended to help improve student engagement on a campus whose overall graduation rate — the combined total for students pursuing two-year associate’s degrees and four-year bachelor’s degrees — is 26 percent.
Because the grant is “new money,” Prue said, it is above and beyond the university’s annual allocation of $14.2 million as approved by Congress.
“This is very exciting news for us,” Prue said. “This will give us some opportunities, some resources, to improve retention and placement.”
To start, Prue said, the money likely will be used to add two retention specialists at the school, which is run by the federal government for American Indians and has an enrollment this semester of nearly 1,000 students from about 150 tribes.
Other eligible expenses for grant money include curriculum development and academic instruction; administrative management; establishing or improving endowment funds; and construction, maintenance, renovation and improvement of classroom, library, laboratory and other instructional facilities.