Kentucky Wesleyan College has received funding from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER), which is federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES). This funding was given to governors to provide emergency aid to combat state-specific needs resulting from the pandemic. Kentucky Wesleyan received $44,950.
Wesleyan will use the funding to enhance the Rising Scholars Program, which serves students who need additional assistance to help ensure they begin college with good foundations and continue their enrollment that progresses to graduation.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant, which will allow us to expand our Rising Scholars program to include a summer bridge program.,” said Rebecca McQueen-Ruark, vice president of student affairs and dean of student services. “The bridge program is an intensive week of sessions designed to assist students in the transition from high school to college, adjust to the academic rigor of college, build connections with their peers and establish mentoring relationships with student success coaches (volunteer staff members). We will equip them with tools they need to earn their degrees at Kentucky Wesleyan.”
In the 2020-2021 academic year, 52 students took part in the new Rising Scholars Program. Twenty-five volunteer staff members underwent training as student success coaches and coached students throughout their freshman year through providing encouragement, connecting them with resources and answering questions.
A portion of the GEER funding in Kentucky was designated for use to improve college preparation and retention. This is a key initiative of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, which deems this to be a crucial step for the state to remain economically competitive.