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Bellarmine Partnership with Eminence Independent Schools Supports First Generation Students

May 01, 2012

Beginning this fall, qualified high school juniors and seniors from Eminence High School in Henry County, Ky., will travel to Bellarmine two days a week to experience campus life and earn college credit.

Bellarmine's president, Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, praises Eminence students at the announcement.
The new partnership between Bellarmine and Eminence Independent Schools includes Apple laptops and a WiFi-equipped bus provided by the school system. Bellarmine is providing reduced tuition to the students, who will be able to earn up to 29 hours of college credit through the program if they participate for two full years.

Eminence students consistently perform well in the classroom, with the school district ranking among Kentucky's top 10 districts for high ACT scores.

This past year, 64 percent of Eminence students qualified for free and reduced lunch, and 90 percent were from families where previous generations had not completed college. Through Bellarmine’s Pioneer Scholars Program, the university is equipped to help these students develop the skills they need to be successful in college. About 40 percent of Bellarmine students are first generation college students.

“Today is a monumental day in the history of Eminence Independence Schools," said Buddy Berry, the school system's superintendent. "It is our hope that our students and staff will lead the way in reinventing schools as we know it. Bellarmine’s commitment in sharing our vision is inspiring and we are extremely grateful for all their help."

Eminence Superintendent Buddy Berry describes the new partnership.
Berry is a graduate of Bellarmine's Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education.

“Bellarmine University is excited for this opportunity to partner with Eminence Independent Schools to provide groundbreaking programs for talented high school students,” said Bellarmine’s president, Dr. Joseph J. McGowan. “Through this early exposure to college life, these students will participate in extraordinary classroom experiences, college orientation and campus culture. We can’t wait to welcome these talented students to our campus, and we appreciate very much the collaborative work of all the great educators in the Eminence Independent School District.”