Carlow University Receives $1.3 Million U.S. Department of Education Grant for Student Support

Carlow University has received a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for student support of first generation college students, students with low income, or who have a disability.

Marketing and Communications For Immediate Release
Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations September 09, 2020
412.578.2095 (phone)
412.260.6807 (cell)

Grant to be Used to Identify and Provide Services for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Carlow University has received a $1,305,940 TRiO Student Support Services grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which is payable over five years.

The Federal TRiO programs are outreach and student service programs designed to help students with disadvantaged backgrounds.  TRiO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs.

“We are pleased that the Department of Education has recognized Carlow University’s efforts to serve students who are first generation college students, low-income, or have a disability,” said Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD, president of Carlow University.  “This grant was awarded during a time of volatility for our society due to the pandemic, so the impact is especially meaningful, and this will benefit Carlow students, faculty, and staff for many years to come.”

Depending on the program, recipients of the TRIO grants are institutions of higher education, public and private agencies, or community-based organizations with experience in serving disadvantaged youth or secondary schools. Only 20 percent of TRIO grants go to new applicants.

Carlow’s application was put together through the collaborative efforts of a number of staff and departments at the university.   Jacqueline Smith, director of Disability Services, and Bridget Ponte, director of the Center for Academic Achievement, spearheaded the efforts.

“We believe Carlow’s application was innovative because it provides for supplemental instruction in five courses identified to be barriers to graduation, and assistive technology supports that elevate access for our students who are low-income, first generation, and/or have a disability in a way that increases retention and graduation rates,” said Smith.

The courses identified to be barriers to retention and graduation are those for which these students may have had instructional gaps, such as those that require higher order logic, scientific method, or academic writing.

“No other program receiving the funds is using the same approach of combining assistive technologies and peer-led supplemental instruction to bridge instructional gaps, support student independence in learning, and form peer relationships to elevate engagement,” said Ponte.

For more information, please contact the Center for Academic Achievement at (412) 578-6271.


About Carlow University

Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929, Carlow’s curricula and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact.  Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in two colleges:  the College of Health and Wellness and the College of Arts and Sciences.  The College of Health and Wellness includes the departments of Nursing, Respiratory Care, Healthcare Data Analytics, Health Management, and graduate degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and the Physician Assistant programs.  Graduate programs in Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy will soon be added.

Carlow University also believes in the education and growth of students both inside and outside the classroom, where they can join student government, clubs, and academic honorary societies where they can develop skills in judgment, leadership, analysis, decision-making, and communication.  For student-athletes, Carlow’s 14 athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.

© Copyright 2022 Carlow University. All rights reserved.