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Wiley College awarded $325,000 grant

School will use the money from USA Funds to help enhance completion rates for students

Wiley College, a historically black college located in Marshall, Texas, is getting a helping hand from USA Funds with a $325,000 grant geared toward enhancing completion rates and career success for minority students.

The grant comes in the form of a three-year MSI Measuring College Value initiative developed to aid minority-serving colleges and universities with elevating students and exploring the values of the school’s programs. According to USA Funds, the program focuses on the “development and application of data tools and institutional practices that enhance the college completion rates and career readiness of first-generation, low-income and minority students.”

“As college completion rates and employment outcomes for black, Hispanic and Native American students continue to lag, these colleges are well-positioned to improve these results, applying data-informed solutions to enhance the value they deliver to students,” said Lorenzo L. Esters, USA Funds’ vice president of philanthropy. “If our nation is to continue to prosper, all segments of our population must be equipped with the skills to participate fully in the workforce and in the communities in which they live.”

Students working on computers on the campus of Wiley College.

Students working on computers on the campus of Wiley College.

Courtesy of Wiley College

Six other colleges, including Harris-Stowe State University, Martin University, Miami Dade College, St. Thomas University, Salish Kootenai College and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, are also recipients of the grant, totaling nearly $2.3 million. Wiley College is the only historically black college to make the list.

Wiley, named after minister and educator Bishop Isaac T. Wiley, was founded in 1873 and fought to operate during the Jim Crow era. Wiley became the first black college west of the Mississippi River after moving to Marshall, where the college remains today.

The college will use the USA Funds grant to “integrate data to track and intervene strategically to promote early college success, persistence, completion and meaningful employment outcomes of graduates.”

“Our top priority at Wiley College is furthering our legacy of excellence as the place where every student can succeed,” Wiley’s president Haywood L. Strickland said in a statement. “The resources provided by USA Funds will undergird and strengthen our ongoing work to produce graduates who will enter the workforce ready to compete, lead and achieve their career goals.”

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.