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Lumina Foundation Awards Morgan State University More Than $700,000 In Grant Funding To Support HBCU Student Success Project

New Effort to Provide Intervention Strategies to Bolster Retention and Increase Graduation Rate

Morgan State University has announced the award of a three-year, $716,700 grant from Lumina Foundation to support the University’s implementation of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Student Success Project, a proactive effort to implement strategies that evidence suggests can increase completion rates, while improving outcomes for historically underserved students. The project, which was designed to extend positive steps already taken by the University, will utilize data drawn from a comprehensive student analytic system to improve academic, financial and social supports. It also includes technical assistance and evaluation support for the University.

Morgan is one of three prominent HBCUs and the only public university among those selected to be awarded grants totaling more than $1.5 million. The other HBCU participants involved in the project are Dillard University and Howard University.

“We are fortunate to have this opportunity to expand our relationship with Lumina Foundation by being selected as one of the standout HBCUs participating in this student success project,” said Morgan President David Wilson. “Bringing this initiative to Morgan complements current efforts underway and serves to enhance our recent success with improved retention and graduation rates. In spring 2016, we launched Morgan’s 50 by 25 Campaign as a university-wide effort to increase graduation rates at Morgan to 50 percent by the year 2025, and with Lumina’s support over the next three years, we are hoping to improve student retention by 4 percent while significantly increasing on-time and six-year completion rates on the road to that goal.”

The HBCU Student Success Project supports targeted work to close attainment gaps between various student groups on campus, specifically to increase the academic success of those who are Pell-eligible. Morgan will implement a predictive analytics solution that will identify at-risk students. Once those students have been identified, Morgan will use interventions such as proactive academic advising and experiential learning opportunities to ensure each student remains on a positive track toward success. Predictive analytics will enable the University to respond more rapidly and in a more pointed and sophisticated way when students experience difficulties. Another strategic component involves the implementation of a second-year experience program.

“Lumina Foundation is pleased to support Morgan State University in its efforts to improve student outcomes,” said Danette Howard, Lumina’s chief strategy officer and senior vice president. “Morgan State University will concentrate over the next three years to utilize improved student data to not only increase student persistence and completion but also to eliminate attainment gaps for Pell-eligible students. Morgan State University has developed a comprehensive plan to reach these outcomes. We are very excited to see the results and learn from their work.

Morgan’s vision for the initiative is for students to attain academic success, complete degrees on time with the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities, and be prepared to join the workforce of a global and competitive economy.

About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Our goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.

About Morgan
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified Doctoral Research Institution offering more than 70 academic programs leading to bachelor’s degrees as well as programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. As Maryland’s premier public urban research university, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. More information about the university is available at

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Clinton R. Coleman or Larry Jones
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