CPE providing $1.5 million in grants to summer bridge programs

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education is distributing $1.5 million in grants this month to support nearly two dozen summer “bridge” programs that prepare students for early college success.

Gov. Andy Beshear and CPE President Aaron Thompson announced today that 21 programs at Kentucky colleges and universities will receive grants of up to $100,000 each.

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The funds will support summer opportunities for more than 1,800 high school and first-year college students across the state.

The grant money is part of the second round of funding from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, known as GEER II, which aims to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Funds for GEER II were made available through the federal CARES Act.

“Higher education is a powerful tool in our recovery and our path to a better Kentucky, and this cohort of students will play an instrumental role in the future of our commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “That’s why we must use every intervention at our disposal to narrow the gaps, ensure students are prepared and provide seamless pathways for college success.”

Summer bridge programs help students transition to college and persist to a second year. They typically provide social and emotional resources, academic or financial advising, training in time management or study skills, accelerated coursework or similar supports.

“Students are still facing countless challenges from the pandemic,” Thompson said. “These programs will provide resources at a pivotal time and help us address some of the disparities from the past year. The first year of college is critical to every student’s long-term success, and we are committed to supporting them each step along the way.”

Grant recipients include:

–                    Bellarmine University

–                    Big Sandy Community & Technical College

–                    Bluegrass Community & Technical College

–                    Centre College

–                    Eastern Kentucky University

–                    Elizabethtown Community & Technical College

–                    Henderson Community & Technical College

–                    Hopkinsville Community College

–                    Jefferson Community & Technical College

–                    Kentucky State University

–                    Kentucky Wesleyan College

–                    Lindsey Wilson College

–                    Maysville Community & Technical College

–                    Morehead State University

–                    Murray State University

–                    Northern Kentucky University

–                    Owensboro Community & Technical College

–                    Union College

–                    University of Pikeville

–                    West Kentucky Community & Technical College

–                    Western Kentucky University