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Illinois Board of Higher Education awards competitive GEER grant to Northeastern Illinois University

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) has awarded Northeastern Illinois University a $456,286 grant to help target equity in its recruitment and retention efforts. This federal CARES Act funding is one of nine Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund competitive grants totaling $3 million that IBHE has awarded to public and private/non-profit institutions of higher education.

“As part of our laser focus on equity, IBHE, in conjunction with Gov. JB Pritzker’s Office, will use these dollars to support students with the greatest need,” IBHE Executive Director Ginger Ostro said. “Each of the institutions is demonstrating evidence-based efforts to recruit and retain first-generation, low-income, underrepresented and rural students. The bottom line is that we want these students to stay the course.”

Northeastern’s grant will support the establishment of a One-Stop Student Services Success Center and the implementation of best practices for mitigating barriers to initial and ongoing enrollment. It also will support digital applications that provide remote access to consistent, high-quality information and services, especially for students with inadequate internet connectivity, and the implementation of high-impact practices with a significant effect on persistence to degree, such as internships, short-term micro-internships, and service learning projects.

“Northeastern is grateful to Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Board of Higher Education for this continued investment in our mission during the ongoing pandemic,” Northeastern President Gloria J. Gibson said. “As a Hispanic-Serving and Minority-Serving Institution, Northeastern is committed to breaking down barriers to initial and ongoing enrollment—particularly among Black and Brown communities that have been adversely affected by COVID-19. These funds will further our progress toward improved degree completion and help us increase engagement in the academic, personal and professional development of our students.”

The competitive GEER grant program was open to all four-year Illinois public and private/non-profit institutions of higher education holding accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.