READING, Pa. – A grant from the U.S. Department of Education is the first-of-its kind for Alvernia University.

The university announced Tuesday that it has received a Title III grant worth $2.3-million, with the money to be distributed over a five-year period.

The grant, officials said, will enable Alvernia to strengthen student achievement, persistence and retention, particularly in the first two years of the university’s baccalaureate programs.

“We are excited to utilize this grant to increase student engagement and career connections from the point of admission through every step along the way, creating a thruway to graduation and lifelong success,” said Glynis Fitzgerald, Alvernia’s senior vice president and provost.

The money, officials said, can also be used to cover the costs of construction and renovation

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