CANYON, TX (KFDA) - West Texas A&M University has received a $2 million grant to help retain freshmen and sophomore students through their senior year.
The university plans to use this money to provide more resources that encourage degree completion.
WT plans to bring in six new employees who will work similarly to advisers but are more focused on helping incoming students within different departments on campus.
"These employees will be retention coaches - who will help with tutoring and registration - and they can also help students meet new people on campus," said Graduate School Dean Dr. Angela Spaulding. "They can answer questions, and most importantly they are that person that a student could go to if they have an issue and they can help them connect to the appropriate resources on our campus."
WT currently has just under 10,000 students enrolled this fall. More than 1,500 of those students are freshmen.
The university has about a 65 percent retention rate, but Spaulding says that number could go up by helping students focus more on their educational path.
"We have a great student success center and other components on campus that help us reach out to our students but we want to do more," Spaulding said. "We will begin tracking students as well, so we can see if they are attending classes or not. This will give us an inside look and may be able to reach out and see if we can assist in some way if there is a problem.
"This institution really cares about our students and this grant really focuses on that one on one relationship and developing that," Spaulding said.
The new coaches could begin helping students as early as January.
For more information on what this job entails and how students can benefit from this new program visit WT's human resources website.