Guilford College has received $2.2 million in government funding — the single largest non-endowment grant ever awarded to the school.

The money comes from the Strengthening Institutions Program of the US Department of Education. The money is meant to support a new curriculum called “Guilford Edge” and to help bring about more positive outcomes from college students in all walks of life, including those from marginalized communities.

The money will support the college’s development of its newly designed Edge curriculum, which launched in the fall of 2019. According to university officials, that curriculum “reimagines the future of education, offering uncommon engagement in real-world learning for every student. Through the Edge, students gain practical, hands-on experience that prepares them to excel in a global society.”

Grants from the Strengthening Institutions Program are meant to ensure that every student—”regardless of wealth, zip code, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or disability”— has the same opportunities to learn and achieve as others.

In its first year in effect, the Edge helped produce a 6 percent gain in first-to-second-year student retention and it led to the college’s highest average GPA for fall semester classes since 2015.

Guilford College President Carol Moore stated in a press release that the money will be put to good use.

“All at Guilford are very excited about this grant,” Moore said. “It will provide resources for the College to enhance our effectiveness in guiding students to persist and graduate with an excellent education.”

Enhancements to the Edge curriculum supported by the new funding will include programs that help students move from high school to college. It will also bring technology improvements for online, blended, and project-based learning experiences at the college.

Guilford College Interim Academic Dean Kyle Dell said, “To receive Guilford’s largest federal grant ever supporting the innovative learning at the heart of the Guilford Edge represents yet another vote of confidence in the efforts of so many Guilfordians. Securing partnerships like this will continue the results of the Edge: rising academic performance, greater success and completion, and extending a Guilford education to historically marginalized communities.”