Bank of America Foundation provides grant for UALR summer academy

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded $20,000 to a UALR summer program aimed at improving retention and graduation rates among targeted minority populations.

The funding will help support the Dr. Charles W. Donaldson Summer Bridge Academy at UALR. In the summer of 2013, the academy became the first on-campus, intensive residential program aimed at improving student remediation rates before the start of the fall term.

Summer Bridge Academy

Recent graduates of the Charles W. Donaldson Summer Bridge Academy at UALR receive a medallion from Dr. Donaldson

The pilot residential program served 44 participants and provided them room and board free of charge.

Students made huge leaps in standardized test scores, including nine who became eligible for honors composition, subsequent to their participation in the three-week residential program.

Studies show that students who must devote time to non-credit remedial coursework will not only pay more tuition, they also lose potential income with the delay in college graduation.

In addition, the costs to institutions to remediate unprepared students results in losses to the state in income tax revenues and available funding for postsecondary institutions.

BOA Senior Vice President Susan San Martin said in a letter that work done by UALR and other agencies “help lift up local communities.”

For more information on the Summer Bridge Academy, call Amber Smith at 501.569.8713 or email

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