Asbury Receives Education Grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission – Asbury University
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Asbury Receives Education Grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission

May 20, 2024

Asbury University recently received a $230,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for the Education in Appalachia to Graduate Leaders that Excel (EAGLE) project. In addition to ARC funds, local sources will provide $73,080 in match, bringing the total project funding to $303,080. Through ARC’s investment, hundreds of eastern Kentucky students will be served.

“The most effective method of disruption is through proven education strategies that incentivize change,” said Asbury University Foundations and Grant Administrator Michael Stratford. “The program will be a holistic approach, concentrating on providing professional development for teachers, bringing the newest technologies to aid individualized student feedback from teachers, hands-on STEM learning to stimulate student engagement, and college enrollment incentives. These combined education inducements will yield economic benefits to the region over time through a higher skilled workforce and an increased per capita income.”

Led by Asbury education students, EAGLE will offer two hands-on STEAM Days (one in the fall and spring) for all Knott County P-8 students and will sponsor a local Educator’s Rising chapter in Knott County leading to state competition participation as well as professional development and continuing education, including scholarships, for teachers.


Summer Bridge Program scholarships available

EAGLE will also expand dual-credit learning opportunities for Knott County students and teacher technology tools, will offer week-long academic summer camp scholarships for high school students, and will provide 10-day Summer Bridge Program scholarships for 15 incoming freshmen attending Asbury from anywhere in eastern Kentucky.

“The Summer Bridge Program offers an opportunity for incoming first-year students to get a head start on transitioning from high school to university life and academics through removing common barriers that prevent incoming students from reaching their college goals and sustaining them,” said Asbury University Director of the Center for Academic Excellence Dr. Henry Zonio. “Bridge participants move in a week-and-a-half earlier than everyone else, have a chance to get settled and familiar with the campus, complete 2 credit hours of college courses (college readiness and physical/mental wellness), participate in financial literacy workshops, work with an academic coach for the duration of their first year of university, and more.”

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia and help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. More information is available at

Asbury University offers Traditional and Online Undergraduate programs in Education; the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree for initial certification; and M.A. programs in English as a Second Language Endorsement, Learning and Behavior Disorders, Literacy Specialist P-12, and Principal Licensure. Additional degree programs include the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Principal Licensure with Instructional Supervisor (dual licensure) and certifications for Director of Pupil Personnel, Instructional Supervisor, and School Superintendent. Learn more: