Knox College has been awarded a grant for $800,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support initiatives that expand opportunities for underrepresented students.
The grant, which covers a four-year period, will help the College implement a multifaceted program of academic support for students who represent the first generation in their families to attend college, who come from low-income households, or who report having a disability.
The program's goal is to retain these deserving students at Knox so they may successfully complete their degrees by offering new opportunities at crucial points in their Knox educational experience.
To better serve these students, Knox is launching a variety of initiatives, including:
- An expanded summer bridge program, known as SPARK (Student Preparation and Readiness for Knox),
- Expanded comprehensive academic support services,
- A new student success coaching program,
- Increased funding so that students can participate in high-impact educational experiences, such as research/scholarship/creative work, internships and community service, and off-campus study, including study abroad.
The Knox program will be directed by Laura Behling, vice president for academic affairs and Dean of the College. The Mellon Foundation funding "expands the College's thinking about how best to educate our students," Dean Behling said.
The funding, she added, "aims to enhance the opportunities for our students' success by focusing specific programs at crucial points in their college career and to address our rapidly changing student demographics across all of our disciplinary offerings. It allows us to continue to be true to our mission of access and position Knox to embrace the 21st-century higher education landscape as a place of opportunity and possibility."
Since 1970, Knox has been awarded 11 grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation totaling more than $2.6 million. The College currently holds a separate $400,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to support faculty career enhancement, including new directions in interdisciplinary scholarship, integrating technology into teaching, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
In addition, Knox is participating in a Mellon Foundation-supported initiative to explore potential English program collaborations with Lake Forest College and Beloit College. The Mellon Foundation also recently awarded the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest a grant of $8.1 million to encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to participate in graduate school preparation and to consider careers teaching at liberal arts colleges. As an Associated Colleges of the Midwest member, Knox is participating in this initiative.
The Mellon Foundation has a long history of supporting higher education and liberal arts colleges.
ABOUT THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION
Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.