In October 2020 the University of Tennessee Southern (at that time still Martin Methodist College) began implementing a five-year Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant, totaling over 2 million dollars, to fund Project IMPACT (Improving Martin through Programs, Access, Case Management, and Technology). The U.S. Department of Education awards such grants competitively to eligible institutions of higher education to help them become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students, by providing funds to improve and strengthen the institution’s academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability.
The overarching goal of UT Southern’s Project IMPACT is to increase enrollment, increase year-to-year persistence, and increase degree completion by: 1) offering new degree programs, 2) expanding distance learning, 3) and improving case management and data analytics.
During the initial two years of the grant, the University has made significant progress on all three activities. It has developed curricula, hired new faculty, and launched undergraduate degree programs in three high-demand STEM areas–Computer Information Systems, Cybersecurity, and Public Health Education. It has significantly expanded the number of courses offered in online and hybrid delivery format. And to better support those course, it has hired a Distance Learning Coordinator and upgraded the campus’s technological infrastructure. To better support student case management it has hired a Student Success Coordinator and implemented FireHawk 360 student success management software.
For more information about The University of Tennessee Southern’s Title III grant or its student success and distance learning initiatives, please contact the Grant Coordinator or any other member of the Title III team.
More information about all U.S. DOE Title III programs can be found at