Duke grants $100k to improve graduation rates

Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy announced a $100,000 foundation grant to support higher graduation rates by challenged students at four local universities.

Bonita Brown, interim president and vice president and chief strategy officer, Northern Kentucky University; Monica Posey, president, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College; Kim Vogelgesang, foundation manager, Duke Energy; Fernando Figueroa, president, Gateway Community & Technical College; Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio & Kentucky; Ande Durojaiye, vice president, Miami Regionals, and dean, Miami’s College of Liberal Arts and Applied Science.

The “Moon Shot for Equity” collaborative effort with local higher education institutions is designed to graduate more Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky students from college. The program will provide assistance to underserved students experiencing significant challenges to degree completion.

“Duke Energy is proud to invest in the success of our local students,” said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “It is critically important to acknowledge equity gaps in higher education and take action to reduce those gaps. By supporting today’s students, we are ensuring a vibrant economy for the future.”

Four local higher education institutions are participating: Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Gateway Community & Technical College, Miami University Regionals and Northern Kentucky University. The Duke Energy Foundation grant will provide direct assistance to each university as well as support to help with the creation of an online resources portal.

“We are grateful not only for Duke Energy Foundation’s generous support, but also for their inherent leadership to support the regional Moon Shot for Equity program,” said Dr. Ande R. Durojaiye, a Miami University vice president and dean. “With this support, we can ensure degree completion for some of our region’s at-risk and underserved community, and accelerate meeting the workforce development needs in the Greater Cincinnati area.”

The Moon Shot initiative focuses on four key strategies:

  1. Enhancing access to need-based financial aid;
  2. Streamlining transfer pathways by ensuring transferability of college credits
    between institutions;
  3. Coordinating between key university offices and services, from financial aid and
    career advising to student health and counseling, to promote a holistic care
    model fostering student success; and
  4. Eliminating and revising registration holds that are unnecessary and burdensome
    to students.

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars.

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky provides electric service to 880,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area, and natural gas service to 550,000 customers in a 2,650-square-mile service area, in Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke parent company is one of America’s largest energy holding companies.

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