MCC receives $300,000 grant to study transfer students

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published January 6, 2016

MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb Community College is one of three educational institutions nationwide that will receive grant money from the Kresge Foundation’s new education program.

The Kresge Foundation, based in Troy, is an organization that works to expand opportunities to low-income individuals in America’s cities. The foundation promotes post-secondary access and success for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students.

The foundation recently awarded three grants totaling $1.1 million. According to Kresge representatives, $300,000 of it will go to MCC. The grant money will allow Macomb to work with the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College on a research study to understand different types of transfer students, their success rates at various destinations within an urban area, and factors that influence their success and failure.

“Macomb County is one of the nation’s most populous counties without a four-year institution within its borders,” Caroline Altman Smith, senior program officer on the Kresge Foundation education team, said in a prepared statement. “So there isn’t one obvious transfer destination; there are many different places Macomb students consider as transfer destinations. Markets with this many potential pathways for students in cities are not well-understood. This research will help reveal what works and what doesn’t to help students in these thick transfer markets transition to a four-year college to complete their degree.”

The mission is to catalyze these disparate agencies and systems to work together more intentionally across an urban geographic area with a shared goal of graduating a significantly larger number of students.

According to William Moses, managing director of Kresge’s education program, low-income students in urban areas often struggle to balance their studies with work and family responsibilities. They also frequently rely on public transportation and require financial aid and other social supports.

The Kresge Foundation also awarded a joint $600,000 grant to the Community Growth Educational Foundation — Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

Another $200,000 grant went to the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities, which includes Florida International University, the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida.