Central Lakes College was awarded a $3 million grant from the Minnesota Department of Education to further its thriving student success efforts.

The project funded by the grant focuses on using data to identify at-risk students and provide proactive support to increase CLC's overall retention and completion rates.

Spread over a five-year span, the grand funds will enable CLC to hire four Raider Connect Coaches. Following the popular Check and Connect Coach model, these coaches will provide school performance monitoring, mentoring and other supports to advocate for students through their educational journey.

"This level of intensive advising requires more capacity than the typical college is capable of on its own with constantly tightening budgets," stated Paul Preimesberger, CLC's dean of enrollment management and student success, in a news release.

The college will also hire an instructional designer, institutional researcher and project director. CLC is partnering with the University of Minnesota to complete the research aspect of the grant.

Central Lakes College is the only college in the region to be awarded this type of immersive grant.

"We are really excited about this opportunity to increase student success and student retention," Preimesberger stated in the release. "It will complete and enhance the current student success strategies and resources we already have."

These new Raider Connect Coaches will help students through challenges and maximizing their potential.

"This is why we are here, why we do what we do," Preimesberger stated. "We want students to be successful and attain their goals. We're all in when it comes to helping students build rewarding and fulfilling futures."