OU Southern and Shawnee State benefit from grant

April 15, 2019 GMT

The Herald-Dispatch

COLUMBUS - Ohio University and Shawnee State are among five public universities to benefit from a $2.5 million OhioCorps pilot program grant administered by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

Funding will be used to provide at-risk secondary students with guidance and positive role models that will help them succeed as they transition to higher education.

OU received a grant in the amount of $499,986, which will help fund the Ohio MENTOR (Mentoring, Engaging, Nurturing and Teaching for Opioid Resistance) program, which will serve students in eight counties across southeast Ohio through targeted mentoring and service learning activities.

The planned approach, which will encompass Ohio University’s five regional campuses and two of its colleges, will enlist several undergraduate and graduate students as mentors. The program will serve 140 freshmen and sophomores from 11 targeted high schools.

“The reach of our pilot project in the southeast region will have a tremendous impact on communities hardest hit by the opioid epidemic,” said Ohio University Southern Dean Nicole Pennington. “The high school and university students in our OHIO MENTOR project will benefit from mentorship and service learning as the region continues to overcome challenges stemming from the opioid epidemic. This initiative will provide Ohio University and the Regional Campuses with resources to support southeast Ohio students in a meaningful way.”

Shawnee State received a grant in the amount of $498,648, which will be used to serve students and families in the region of Scioto and Pike counties.

SSU’s program will be a collaboration between several community partners chosen to provide students with services such as weekly academic tutoring; monthly skill-building sessions on a variety of topics, including study habits, independent living, financial literacy, FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) navigation, and career exploration; transportation to and from monthly meetings; and monthly discussion groups for parents.

“We are grateful for the opportunity that the grant is giving us to reach out to at-risk students in our communities in new ways,” SSU Interim President Jeff Bauer said in a news release. “By connecting high school students with college students who have overcome barriers to education in their own lives, and giving them the support and resources they need to succeed, we believe we can help change lives.”

Other universities receiving a share of the grant are Cleveland State, Kent State and Youngstown State.