Walmart Foundation awards Eureka College

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

Eureka College is among 30 colleges nationwide and four in Illinois to receive a Walmart College Success Award from the Walmart Foundation and the Council of Independent Colleges. The $50,000 award will support new programs to help first-generation students succeed at Eureka College.  

Eureka College will use the award to create the Early College Program for new first-generation students. The college also will use the funds to form a peer mentor program, to take first-generation students to a range of cultural events in Chicago and Peoria and to host the students at several dinners throughout the academic year.

First-generation students comprise about 30 percent of the Eureka College student population, according to Provost and Dean Philip Acree Cavalier. The new program will improve the retention and graduation rates of these students who are the first in their families to attend college, Cavalier said.

“First-generation students historically have made significant contributions to Eureka College,” Cavalier said. “The Walmart College Success Award enables the college to initiate more creative programs to help these students persist and thrive at Eureka College.”               

Eureka College will launch the program Aug. 5-7 when it hosts its first Early College event for incoming first-generation students.                                                                                     

Twenty colleges and universities with programs that show great promise of increasing retention of the largest number of first-generation students received $100,000 Walmart/CIC awards. Ten institutions that have established worthy projects with a smaller scope of impact or that are more experimental in nature received $50,000 grants.