Title III is a grant issued by Department of Education. The program helps eligible Institutions of Higher Education become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions. (Ed.gov)

The Title III Pathways to Success in Health Careers Grants announced approximately $20.1 million in grants to 39 colleges and universities across the nation will be awarded under the Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP). Rend Lake College is one of the lucky 39 schools chosen and the only school chosen in Illinois.

Annually, per approval by the USDE, RLC will receive approximately $449,000 annually, for a total of $2,249,833 over five years. By the end of the grant period, RLC expects to see an increase in the number of Health Studies degrees and certificates awarded, as well as an increase in overall enrollment and enrollment-based revenue.

Plans include the establishment of a new Anatomy & Physiology (A&P) lab and revision of A&P I and II curricula, revisions to the Practical Nursing program curricula to incorporate educational simulation and web-based interactive instructional modules, development of a new Health Studies advising and tutoring system, and the establishment of a new Health Studies Success Center.

RLC President Terry Wilkerson stated, “The grant will help us improve on our health studies programs, including the addition of two programs, and the support our staff can give to our students. On behalf of the college, faculty and staff, I want to thank the Department of Education for believing in Rend Lake College and our students by helping us expand our educational options and become one of the best higher education institutions in healthcare.”

Information from the USDE states that the healthcare and social assistance sector will create 149,000 new jobs in Illinois alone by 2018, effectively ranking Illinois as one of the top five states in the nation with the greatest shortage of healthcare professionals. More than a third of RLC students, or 35 percent, identify completion of health studies as an educational goal, and enrollment in these programs has increased 22 percent since the 2009-10 academic year.