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NKU receives 2 Kentucky grants to support student success

Northern Kentucky University’s campus.

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — Northern Kentucky University received a boost to support student success with $75,000 in grants from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

NKU has been awarded two grants in CPE’s strategic initiative to help more students succeed in college. The $50,000 Stronger by Degrees Student Success grants are designed to support students as they progress through and complete college, with a special emphasis on low-income and underrepresented minority students. The $25,000 Project Graduate returning adult program grants support former students who have 80 or more credit hours earn their degree.

The grants tie directly to NKU’s Success by Design strategic framework and the university’s singular focus on advancing student success aligned with the needs of the region. The framework process identified three pillars of student success — access, completion and career and community engagement.

“NKU and CPE have the same goal of creating a highly educated workforce to address Kentucky’s needs for future growth. We outlined how NKU will accomplish this in our strategic framework, and CPE developed this initiative— all with the common goal of more students earning their degrees to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives,” said President Ashish Vaidya. “I’m pleased to work with CPE on this goal and commend our NKU team who planned out how we will leverage these grants.”

NKU’s Success by Degrees funds will create a one-stop student support center with peer mentors who will provide consultation and coaching. It will also develop a series of first-year parent/family experience seminars to help families guide their students’ progress through college. The university’s Project Graduate grants will address financial barriers for 100 students through waiving orientation fees and offering book stipends and will address completion barriers of 100 students through free credit-by-exams.

The CPE awarded each grant through a separate review process. Twenty colleges and universities submitted proposals for the funding, and six were approved.

“We are delighted to fund these high-impact proposals,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson. “In times of scarce resources, targeting funds to support strategic programs can be a real game-changer for our students.”

In addition to NKU, the Stronger by Degrees Student Success grants were awarded to Eastern Kentucky University, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Maysville Community and Technical College, and Owensboro Community and Technical College. The University of Kentucky also received the Project Graduate grant. All campuses are required to provide both a mid-term and final report to CPE.