On September 27, Brewton-Parker College (BPC) received news that it is one of this year’s Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant recipients from the US Department of Education. The grant totals over $2.2 million awarded over the next five years and will provide the funding needed for the college to begin its Enrichment, Persistence, and Innovation in Collegiate Community (EPICC) Initiative. As part of the EPICC Initiative, BPC will hire seven additional full-time employees to provide essential services to aid student success and retention.
BPC’s retired vice president, Dr. Beverly Robinson, played an invaluable role as a consultant and lead person for the grant submission. She remarked, “This grant reflects our unwavering commitment to providing students with the tools they need to succeed academically and spiritually. It is a testament to our team’s hard work and dedication, as well as the tremendous support of our community.”
The existing student success center will be restructured to become the Student Enrichment Center (SEC). Within the SEC, students will receive academic advising, career counseling, tutoring services, mental health counseling, and other support needs. New software will be implemented to help monitor student performance and identify at-risk students to facilitate timely interventions. Additionally, new technologies will be purchased, such as loanable laptops, e-readers for online textbooks, webcams for proctored exams, and expanded computer labs for student use on campus.
Dr. Robert Brian, BPC Provost, highlights the impact of the grant by stating, “Students are often facing enormous challenges in adapting to the rigors of college. In addition, they face the added pressure of balancing participation in sports, work, family, and other responsibilities. This grant will enable BPC to offer student assistance at a very high level to help them cope with the intense pressure many of them feel.”
Receiving these funds marks a significant milestone for BPC and underscores its commitment to its students’ academic and personal growth. The grant’s successful acquisition was the culmination of over 18 months of dedicated work by a team comprised of faculty, administrators, student representatives, trustees, and community members.
Dr. Steven Echols, BPC President, also expressed his gratitude, stating, “This grant is a game-changer in providing our students with the best possible resources to ensure their success and signifies a significant step forward for BPC. It reflects our dedication to nurturing our students’ intellectual and spiritual growth, preparing them to be ambassadors for Christ in our community and beyond. We believe that the outcome of these funds will profoundly resource BPC’s mission to transform the lives of students both academically and spiritually, all for the glory of God.”
Brewton-Parker College looks forward to leveraging the resources provided by this grant to further its mission of nurturing student growth, both academically and spiritually, and ensuring their success in higher education.