NEIU receives $5.6 million grant


Photo courtesy of Dr. Wendy M. Stack

Dr. Stack’s grant proposal earned the $5.6 million award, which will help fund the Exit on Time program.

Rut Ortiz, News Editor

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded NEIU another multi-million dollar grant effective Oct. 1. This grant totals $5.6 million stretched over five years. This new award is a Title III HSI-Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Articulation Programs, according to Dr. Wendy Stack, executive director of NEIU’s Center for College Access and Success.  

NEIU will receive nearly $1.2 million the first year and then subsequent amounts thereafter.

“Only HSIs can actually compete for this money,” Stack said. “And it is a competitive grant.”

NEIU’s newest program, called Exit on Time, will launch this month. The grant will assist the university in supporting students to complete their bachelor’s degree in four years.

“Our focus is to increase retention of Hispanic and low-income students at Northeastern,” Stack said. “Also to increase the number of that same group that go into STEM majors and are prepared to succeed in a STEM major.”

NEIU has partnered with Triton College, a two-year institution, to bring the project into fruition.

Students have the option to complete their first two years at Triton and then transfer to NEIU to complete the remaining two years. However students do not have to start out at Triton to benefit from this program. Students can come into NEIU as freshmen or transfers and the grant is geared towards supporting all STEM students, from freshman to senior year.

Stack said  grant writing is a collaborative process.

“I wrote the grant proposal with a number of colleagues at the center here for College Access and Success. We took the lead and designed and wrote the proposal with input from the College of Arts and Sciences, institutional research assessment,” she said. “We got the largest grant in Illinois.”

The monies will be allocated in a number of ways including an upgraded environmental science lab at NEIU, early outreaches to high school students interested in studying STEM, summer programming and an upgraded math lab at Triton.

The grant will allow both institutions to offer more academic support to its STEM students, particularly in mathematics.

The model of the program will align introductory courses taught at Triton with those at NEIU so that in the event students do transfer, all of the credits they’ve earned transfer over as well.

The Exit on Time program is set to stretch across all NEIU campuses for STEM focused majors.