Grant assists bill implementation

Samantha Villanueva
Contributing writer

Murray State received a grant from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education late over the summer to aid it in reaching goals set by recent state legislation.
The new $200,000 grant was derived from Senate Bill 1, which focuses on improving students’ transition from high school to college with a goal of improving the number of college freshmen and decrease the amount of remedial classes they need to take.
Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said the grant’s primary function is to show why the new law is so important.
“Surely with the combination of having (high school students) better prepared when they arrive and when they get here, we work with them, will show that the whole focus is not just to have a better enrollment number but that they all graduate in time,” he said. “What good would it do if the student was to come and not graduate? We all want them to leave with their degrees.”
One of the ways the grant was put into effect was in two Summer Academy sessions in which discussions between local high school teachers and various University faculty members took place.
Students and teachers talked about possible changes to improve freshmen transition.
Renae Duncan, associate provost for undergraduate education and project director for the grant, said the academies were an idealistic way to talk about the changes that had to be made to reach the grant’s goal.
“The academies provided a space for high school teachers from the region and MSU faculty to discuss the expectations for mathematics, writing, homework and many other topics,” she said.
Bonnie Higginson, provost and vice president of academic affairs, said she hopes the efforts from the grant will not only improve graduation rates but make a better name for the schools involved.
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