N.C. A&T Receives Additional $500,000 from N.C. GlaxoSmithKline Foundation for ACTS

By Jackie Torok / 09/02/2021 Academic Affairs

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 2, 2021) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has received a $500,000 hardship fund addendum from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation to supplement its initial $1.5 million gift supporting the Aggie Commitment Trailblazer Scholars (ACTS) program.

ACTS is a STEM Pathways program for students transferring from 11 community colleges in North Carolina to N.C. A&T. The program supports full in-state tuition scholarships, transfer-centric learning communities, mentoring, a co-advising student success model, experiential learning opportunities and work strategy planning.

ACTS students must be in the process of acquiring a STEM-related associate degree, transfer in to a STEM major at A&T, and be a member of a population that is underrepresented in STEM fields. The university will accept up to 30 scholars per cohort, with the first cohort arriving this fall.

North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation’s gift is designed to support up to 120 students in STEM areas including engineering, sciences, and technology. Hardship funding will help students stay in school during the COVID pandemic economic downturn by providing emergency financial assistance for unforeseen financial circumstances that could hinder their ability to complete their STEM-focused degrees.

Students who are in the ACTS program automatically qualify for hardship funding while they are attending their community college or enrolled at A&T. Hardship funds cannot impact students’ financial aid. ACTS provides retention along the pathway from community college to the university.

This marks the first time the foundation has invested in hardship support for students, signaling its leadership’s sensitivity to the havoc that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on student and family finances during the past year and a half.

“We understand the hardships students are experiencing and we hope these funds will help students stay enrolled in their classes during this difficult time,” said Marilyn Foote-Hudson, executive director of the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation.

Students may join the ACTS program while at their community colleges and engage with A&T through various events, such as seminars, workshops, and opportunities to attend sports events. When they transfer to A&T, they will receive other services including a full tuition and fees scholarship for two years. Community college advisors of ACTS program students receive a $1,000 stipend each summer.

Alamance Community College, Central Piedmont Community College, Davidson County Community College, Durham Technical Community College, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College, Guilford Technical Community College, Johnston Community College, Richmond Community College, Rockingham Community College and Wake Technical Community College worked with A&T to identify best practices for successful transfer, retention and graduation.

As part of a statewide effort, ACTS team members work with similar programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University – which also are receiving hardship funds from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation – to support community college transfer students.

The hardship funds commemorate the 35th anniversary of the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation. To date, more than $80 million has been committed by the foundation through grants that support science, health and education across North Carolina.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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