December is finally here and as the end of the year rolls in, we’ve been reflecting on our work over 2022. Part of that review has included a hard look at where we can make the most impact and what communities need it most. To that end, we have been investigating wide-scale initiatives supporting learners from groups who have historically been left out of the conversation. I would point out, however, that US higher education was designed and built upon colonial principles that prioritize Whiteness and marginalize Otherness so when I say “historically left out of the conversation,” I mean systematically othered and disenfranchised. And, let’s be clear, higher education’s reckoning with this history is long overdue. Rather than wait for the change we want to see, Nectir has decided to embrace it and be the change we want to see.
So we are going to focus on helping higher ed build a bigger table and invite more people to join the conversation.
Our mission is to transform education and ensure at any time, anyone, anywhere has access to a learning community. In looking at how we can make the most impact with the communities who need it most, we found that one major avenue is to help maximize federal programs and grants focusing on underrepresented groups. Of particular interest are the US Department of Education’s title funds. Not familiar with these? Don’t worry, I’ll explain. Title funds are broken down into several groups, each with different a focus and goal. Some focus on providing funds directly to students (e.g. federal financial programs like Pell grants), and some focus on providing funds to institutions and their efforts toward supporting student success (e.g. mental health services or tutoring). To help maximize our impact, we have narrowed in on Title III, which focuses on strengthening minority-serving institutions, and Title V, which focuses on developing hispanic-serving institutions. Institutions may use funds for planning, faculty development, administrative management, development and improvement of academic programs, instructional supports, and student service programs geared toward improving academic success — many of which align with our services and organization mission.
We know there’s a lot of work to be done in this arena and we want to join the fray. If you are at an institution championing this work, we’d love to hear from you.
If you’re not familiar with us, Nectir is a community and belonging tool that helps you make data-informed decisions to improve student retention. We provide a scalable, modern solution to enhancing student belonging in a FERPA-compliant virtual environment purpose-built for improved learning. Think of Slack or Discord, but created specifically for education and designed by students, teachers, and instructional designers. We help schools:
- Leverage technology to improve access, communication, and success of at-risk students
- Reduce faculty workload by minimizing email
- Build up student insights, communication, and data and reporting for data-driven decision-making
- Identify individual students’ skills and provide personalized, real-time assistance
- Infuse business technologies, analytics, and digital transformation into the learning environment
- Enhance work-based education, career readiness, and training students for today and tomorrow’s workforce
- Maximize wraparound student support services leading to higher course completion, retention from semester to semester, and college graduation rates
Whether you’re a Title III Coordinator or an academic advisor supporting students on the frontlines, we want to equip you with the tools to tackle this work head on. Of the schools we have worked with this year, those that leverage federal programs like Title III, Title IV, and Dept of Labor’s Strengthening Community Colleges, have had rapid implementations that enhance their existing programs to the immediate impact of their students. Not sure if your institution has been awarded funds? We can help figure that out, or collaborate with you on a submission for the upcoming application cycle.
Improve student outcomes and your student support services while building a communication infrastructure that will grow in value year over year. We help you design, build and implement a campus-wide strategy so needs are met in the most efficient and effective way possible with on-demand training and ongoing strategic support. Our dedicated team of learning experts will ensure that all of your goals are met with ease.
Contact us today to see how we can transform the learning experience for every student, faculty, and administrator at your campus.