Reading High School and Alvernia University joint initiative prepares students for college life
Fulton Bank Commercial Market Executive Michele Richards (left) presents check to Alvernia President Thomas F. Flynn (Right) and Reading High School Students (center)
Theo Anderson/Alvernia University
Reading, Pa. – Alvernia University has been awarded $200,000 from Fulton Bank, N.A. to support the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program (RCSP), a two-pronged joint initiative between Reading High School and Alvernia University that is designed to increase high school graduation and college attendance rates in Reading while ensuring the success of those Reading students who attend Alvernia. The gift will benefit both the College Readiness and College Success components of the program.
“We are deeply grateful for the generous gift from Fulton Bank to enable Alvernia to expand this transformational program,” said Alvernia President Thomas F. Flynn. “In its fourth full academic year, the College Readiness component of the RCSP has served hundreds of teens in Reading by guiding the transition from high school to college. Students are encouraged to attend the college of their choice, and we are thrilled that many choose to attend Alvernia. Our first cohort of Reading Scholars has a 100% graduation rate. Yet, whatever their choice of college, all these students are better prepared to become college graduates!”
Alvernia’s Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement operates both components of the program. The College Readiness component utilizes Alvernia work-study students as mentors and tutors for high school students in Reading while introducing those students to the possibility of attending college.
Every year, the College Success component of the program awards 10 City of Reading students full tuition scholarships to attend Alvernia. Functioning as a self-supporting cohort, the group is provided with a member of the faculty to serve as their academic mentor throughout the course of their time at Alvernia and are supported through various activities geared toward acclimation to the collegiate environment.
“Fulton Bank is proud to support this program because we recognize the impact it has on the Reading community and on the students who have the opportunity to participate,” said Michele Richards, commercial market executive for Fulton Bank. “Our purpose at Fulton is to change lives for the better, and you can see that purpose come to life through the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program.”
The funding from Fulton Bank, N.A., which is distributed over four years, allows Alvernia to establish 10 new work-study positions for the RCSP students attending Alvernia. In addition, it will fund two graduation events, one recognizing the accomplishments of RCSP Reading High School graduates and the other to honor the cohort graduating from Alvernia.