Minority Student Leadership Academy Receives Grant from Sisters of Mercy

ASHEVILLE NC – A-B Tech Community College recently received a $30,000 grant from the Sisters of Mercy Foundation for its Minority Student Leadership Academy.

The Academy works to improve retention and graduation rates among minority students by providing services ranging from tutoring to workshops.  The grant will allow the Academy to collect data related to semester-to-semester retention, academic progress, and conduct an analysis of which services members are using throughout the grant period.

The Academy will also establish a cohort of minority students registering for ACA 115, Success and Study Skills, and will track the students’ progress as they work one-on-one with an academic success advocate. Students will also be encouraged to work in study groups.

The Academy is in its fourth year at A-B Tech. The program was established through a grant from the North Carolina Community College System aimed at increased retention and graduation rates among minority males. A-B Tech broadened its program to include female students.  The program currently serves 90 students of various backgrounds.

Membership in the Academy is open to all students, but workshops and seminars have a special emphasis on challenges faced by minority students.  Components of the Minority Student Leadership Academy are Leadership Development, Personal Accountability, Academic Preparation, and Entrepreneurship.  The Academy’s foundation consists of free academic tutoring, a mentorship program, academic preparation and career development workshops, online tutorials, and entrepreneurship development workshops.  The academy also sponsors a math and computer lab, which members can use for additional assistance.

Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation, Inc. operates exclusively for the benefit and support of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas South Central Community, and assists it in furthering its charitable, religious and educational mission. The Foundation is managed in accordance with the teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The Foundation seeks to promote systemic change and help individuals empower themselves, especially women, children and those who are elderly, to improve the quality of their lives.

For more information on the Minority Student Leadership Academy, contact Dr. Joseph Fox, Chairperson of A-B Tech’s Business Administration, at (828) 398-7664, or josephlfox@abtech.edu.

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