ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University has been awarded almost $2 million
in federal grant funding to overhaul its academic advising system, with the goal of increasing retention and graduation rates.
The five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education totals $1,924,640, including a first-year award of $416,735.
“With this grant we will be able to provide students with a first-rate academic advising program that will help them make the transition from high school to college and on to graduation,” said Steven Rasmussen, director of NSU’s University College.
The money will be used to hire and train professional advisers for each school/college within the university, as well as an additional professional adviser and an American Indian professional adviser for the university’s existing first-year advising program. It will also be used to purchase and implement assessment software to create and institutionalize formal, campus-wide assessment of the new advising program.
Northern’s academic advising system will be changed so that students will begin in the first-year advising program and then transition to a professional adviser in the school/college associated with their degree program. This proactive approach will anticipate student needs and deliver academic and personal support, including the integration of career exploration into the advising curriculum.
"As we continue to emphasize our work geared toward the development of a graduation-focused environment here at NSU, the students on campus will be greatly advantaged by the advising staff employed to work with them on moving from admissions to graduation in the most expedient manner possible,” said NSU President Jim Smith. “These grant dollars are impressive in size and will allow the scope of our work to come together in a very rapid fashion."