KWC and Brown Foundation Partner to Fight Sophomore Slump

Kentucky Wesleyan College Receives $450,000 Grant from James Graham Brown Foundation

Owensboro, Ky.
(August 28, 2013) – Kentucky Wesleyan College has been notified by the James Graham Brown Foundation that the College will receive a $450,000 grant to address “Sophomore Slump,” a national challenge in higher education. “Sophomore Slump” occurs when students have completed their freshman year and begin the transition to the selection of a field of concentration, encounter increasingly difficult course work and drop out of college. Although any student may be at risk for the “Sophomore Slump,” first-generation college attenders are particularly vulnerable. The KWC program will focus on all sophomores, but especially on first-generation and low income students, and will provide the academic, social and financial support needed to move students through the sophomore transition to a successful outcome – graduation.

President Craig Turner remarked, “We are deeply grateful for the generosity of the James Graham Brown Foundation, which will enable Wesleyan to address specific issues of at-risk students in innovative ways.” The program will provide funding for a Sophomore Advocate, who will address specific needs of sophomores and facilitate the exploration of careers, engagement in academic work and the establishment of healthy, supportive relationships inside and outside the classroom. The Advocate will coordinate partnerships with alumni mentors and community leaders, who will provide support through service learning projects and community service opportunities.

Academic Dean Paula Dehn explained that the college career life cycle includes the excitement of autonomy and newness during the freshman year followed by a sense of urgency and even uncertainty in the sophomore year. “The Sophomore Advocate will bring together partners who will provide support for academic and social success. Sophomores sometimes feel disconnected and need assistance and encouragement to make goal-centered decisions about their futures,” explained Dr. Dehn. “Once they reach their junior year, they usually remain in college and graduate.”

The James Graham Brown Foundation of Louisville was incorporated in 1954. Brown was a lumberman, horseman and entrepreneur.



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