Three faculty and staff members from Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) developed a grant proposal based on an idea they heard presented at the 2014 USA Funds® Symposium. That idea paid off with a $10,000 grant to the college from USA Funds.
Greg Feeney, Ph.D., academic dean, Angel Clay, Transfer Center director and Dr. Jim Fenton, associate professor, ESL/Humanities, were the architects of the proposal for a completion coach that will assist fall 2014 freshmen who plan to transfer to a four-year university.
“BCTC is a pipeline to the four-year universities, and we believe this new program will further streamline the transition for our students,” Feeney said. “Our goal is to ease the transfer process and make sure our students are prepared for the next step.
A total of 100 college ready students will be recruited to the Complete2016 program in its pilot year. The completion coach will work with this group of students during orientation and advising to create an individualized, two-year transfer success plan to map out student class schedules focusing on major and pre-major general education requirements. Additionally, the completion coach will work with each student in the program to jointly create and maintain an e-portfolio, which plans and documents student progress toward transfer. This includes the academic plan as well as extracurricular activities. Extracurricular components of the portfolio will include attendance at monthly meetings, which will incorporate field trips to four-year institutions as well as scholarship and financial aid workshops, career counseling and presentations by local industry and academic leaders.
The completion coach also will work with faculty to create learning communities (groups who are actively engaged in learning together) in at least two of the participants’ general education classes in fall and spring semesters.
USA Funds® is a nonprofit corporation that helps students prepare for, access and achieve success in post-secondary education by providing and supporting them with financial and other valued services. USA Funds was established in Indianapolis in 1960 to help families finance rising college costs.
Over the past 50 years, USA Funds has supported a total of $247 billion in financial aid for higher education and has served approximately 22.4 million students and parents, as well as thousands of educational and financial institutions.