It is a very important time for Title III right now, Grambling State University’s Title III program held its 2015-2016 Meet and Greet reception for this year’s external evaluators on September 12.
Title III is one of the largest grants received by a university annually. The grant is awarded each year and provides funding to support student services, technology, facilities improvements, faculty development programs, and a host of other programs important to the university.
The external evaluators for this year are Haywood Strickland, Gloria Janes, Joyce Brown, Nathaniel Jackson and Tendai Paula Johnson.
The external evaluation team provides services generally to the HBCU community in the areas of monitoring and evaluation, strategic planning, project and program design, and organizational capacity building.
Executive Title III director at GSU, Beverly Hill-Hercules, said the evaluation is an opportunity for the activity directors to showcase their accomplishment and excellent endeavors happening at Grambling State University.
“There are certain standards that the government sets for the programs, “said Nathaniel Jackson, consultant/evaluator. I help the institutions understand the requirements and discover how well they are able to reach the required standards and compliance of federal regulations. In the end, whatever is done should have a positive impact on the institution, especially the students.”
Vice president for AID, Inc., Dr. Gloria Pryor James, said she works out the logistics and helps to design what the evaluation report should look like.
“I make sure we get information that is quantitative and qualitative. My overall job is to be sure that the outcomes that were set in the activity director’s plan of objectives match their results.”
GSU’s president agrees that extraordinary things are happening, but he doesn’t believe the programs are necessarily where they should be. He said there is always room for advice and work to be done to accomplish greater goals.
“Dreams do come true, but you have to help them,” said President Larkin. This is a university based on merit. If you don’t want to or are afraid of being evaluated, you won’t be able to grow and expand your programs.”
Larkin said “We don’t want to be repetitive, we want to be creative and exciting,” he said. It is important that we are at the forefront, and that we challenge ourselves and our students to become an even better institution.”
Oct. 1 begins a new five year cycle for the SAFRA grant (2015-2020). Three new programs will be funded, including a teachers education activity by Patricia Johnson, kinesiology program, by Obadiah Simmons, and cyber security by Mahendra Singh will be added.
“We are in the process of coming up with a program that will help students perform well so that they will have better chances of passing their required courses, the required Praxis Exam and graduating,” said Patricia Johnson, educator in GSU’s Teachers Education program director.
She said their goal is to prepare students when they first arrive at GSU as freshmen because the grant will help provide the opportunity to use the academic labs and professional development for faculty and students.
“This program is important because it is about the principles of learning and teaching, and how it is facilitated around the world,” said Obadiah Simmons.
As far as the new cyber security program, Dr. Singh said, “The focus is around cyber security, we have begun doing research and checking the computer quality of the program. This will be a unique program that not many universities have and hopefully, who knows, the program may even become used nationwide.”
Tendai Johnson said, “I evaluate and I do workshops because I want to help the leaders to measure their outcomes.” I also instruct strategic planning sessions and academic trainings. I help with the creation of forms in regards to following the format and measuring of the objectives. We don’t just evaluate, but we try to give constructive ideas on how to improve the programs.”