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April 21, 2020

Worcester State receives $484K grant to enhance digital learning

Photo | Grant Welker Worcester State University

Worcester State University has been awarded $484,130 in grants from Strategic Grant Partners, a Boston venture philanthropy firm supporting nonprofits, the school announced in a press release on Friday.

The grant money will be used to implement programs to help WSU students make it through the spring semester, particularly as students shift to online learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

Approximately $154,000 has been allocated for student laptops; $126,000 will support needs during the spring semester; $112,000 will support student needs in the fall semester; and, $91,000 will go toward launching a student texting system in the fall, the school said in a press release.

The texting system, which will remind students about calendar items and answer frequently asked questions, is aimed at promoting student retention, especially among first-generation students, a demographic prone to dropping out. 

“Research has shown and we’ve noticed that students, especially first-generation students, will stop-out of college due to something as simple as a missed deadline," said Ryan Forsythe, vice president for enrollment management, in a press release. "This technology will help us bridge the gap and hopefully increase our persistence rates."

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