UNA Pressroom

UNA Awarded More than $1.4 Million in State, Federal Grants

Oct. 10, 2023

Michelle R. Eubanks , UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256.765.4392

FLORENCE, AL – The University of North Alabama has recently been awarded more than $1.4 million in state and federal grants to support student services and workforce development. The U.S. Department of Education awarded UNA the highly competitive TRIO Student Services grant of $1.3 million, and the Alabama Governor’s Office of Volunteer Services awarded UNA a 2023 AmeriCorps State Planning Grant in the amount of $99,484 to launch an AmeriCorps program on campus.

UNA is the first university in the AmeriCorps Alabama State portfolio to receive an AmeriCorps grant. UNA Fostering Success isa statewide program designed to support the academic success and workforce development of students in foster care. It is the first AmeriCorps program of its kind at an institution of higher education in Alabama. 

“Our goal is to provide students with access to academic opportunities while equipping them with the tools they need to achieve overall success as they pursue their dreams,” said Dr. Joy Borah, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, who serves as Primary Investigator for both grants. Dr. Lorie Johnson, Special Assistant to the Senior Vice Provost, serves as Co-Investigator.

The AmeriCorps planning grant will be used to facilitate project design and development of the UNA Fostering Success program, which will leverage a variety of resources along with state, community, and university agencies to build a stronger continuum of care toward academic and career pathways for foster youth pursuing a bachelor’s degree at UNA and transitioning to the workforce upon degree completion. 

Research indicates that youth in the foster care system often experience difficulty transitioning into higher education and/or the workforce, but that they experience greater success when they have a support system that includes caregivers with high aspirations for their academic achievement. This innovative, research-based program will coordinate a variety of local and statewide resources to support the success of students pursuing a college degree at UNA and, subsequently, entering the workforce. 

The $1.3 TRIO grant is the first awarded to UNA under the direction of Dr. Borah, and it is designed to help college students succeed in higher education.

“We believe in the transformative power of education, and the grant funding is critical in our efforts to engage students as partners in their academic journey with access to high-impact curricular and co-curricular services as they pursue their degrees,” she said. 

Anchored in a responsive advising model, the program focuses on helping students reach their college and career goals. Academic success coaches work one-on-one with students, providing individualized advising and mentorship. Services include career exploration, tutorial services, graduate and professional education, financial aid application assistance, professional entrance test preparation, workshops, and more. Students also participate in one-of-a-kind experiential study away trips, cultural centers, and academic and leadership conferences.


About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/