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College Received $2.9M Title V Grant for New ExCEL Program

Cranford – The U.S. Department of Education has named Union County College as one of the recipients of the Title V Individual Development Grant. The award is $2.9 million over the next five years and is aimed to strengthen and expand educational opportunities for Hispanic students and students from low-income backgrounds.

With the funding from the grant, Union College will implement Project ExCEL (Experiential Center for Education and Leadership) to improve the retention, academic success, transfer and career readiness of Hispanic students and students from low-income backgrounds who are enrolled in the Education, Business, and Graphic Design programs. ExCEL will provide students with the opportunity to engage in experiential learning opportunities to gain work-based skills through hands on collaborative experiences using industry-specific technology. ExCEL will provide a comprehensive student development program to include academic, career, and transfer advisement, a program-specific College Success course, peer tutoring, online resources and career and leadership development activities.

In addition, the project will establish a Teaching Excellence Network (TEN) to enhance faculty and staff professional development. TEN will include workshops that are related to incorporating experiential learning, the use of industry-specific technological tools, innovative and inclusive pedagogy, the use of authentic assessment and other best practices in improving Hispanic student success.

“Union County College is thankful to be a recipient of this grant. The opportunities that will be provided to our students in the education, business, and graphic design programs will help us meet our mission to transform our community by providing more experienced graduates into the local community,” stated Union’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin.

Union College is a public comprehensive community college providing quality, affordable, accessible educational programs to the greater Union County region. It is the first of New Jersey’s 18 Associate Degree colleges, serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College enrolls almost 20,000 credit, non-credit, and continuing education students and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Many programs lead to an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or an Associate in Applied Science degree.