Last updated: July 25. 2013 9:08AM - 230 Views

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Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

At the weekly meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Portsmouth, three scholarships were given away and Shawnee State University (SSU) President Dr. Rita Rice Morris addressed the group about the need and importance of scholarships.

Scholarship recipients are Jordan Dever of Lucasville, Patrick Bias of Portsmouth and Audriana Lindamood of New Boston.

In her address Morris told the Kiwanians present, “I want to make sure you know what a great thing you (Kiwanis) are doing by giving scholarships away. Scholarships make all the difference in the world.”

Reflecting on her own college experience, Morris said, “when I went to college a small scholarship was just enough to make it possible,” Morris said. “That made the difference, so giving scholarships is giving people a set of tools to move forward.”

Morris said one of the highest priorities of SSU is to keep college affordable in southern Ohio.

“This is also one of our toughest jobs. You may have heard there was a recession, you may have heard that costs are going up. But, we continue to keep that (affordability) as a top priority as a university,” Morris said.

Morris commented that SSU has one of the lowest tuition rates in the state of Ohio.

“Our charge as a university is to make higher education available to the citizens of southern Ohio. We take that very seriously and try to address that through our tuition rates. The other way we try to do that is through providing programming that meets the needs of the region,” Morris said.

She said some of the things SSU is doing to focus on student success include a new curriculum that will be rolled out in the fall and offered to incoming students.

“We’re calling it a Success Curriculum. It’s focused upon students that have pressures against them, mitigating against their success in college,” Morris said. “We are going to give students the opportunity to enroll in the success curriculum. It will be designed addressing all aspects of their needs and helping focus on succeeding in college. We will give students extra support, we will make sure they get the tutoring they need and we are going to spend some time with them doing some career development.”

She said SSU is going to be very focused on this program in helping students stay in college.

“This program starts in the fall and students who are eligible are given the opportunity to sign up. We will take 120 students into the program. If they have academic factors pushing against their success, we will match them with an associate degree program. We will let them get an associate degree before they move onto a bachelor’s degree. The evidence is strong they are more likely to succeed in both getting one along the way,” Morris said.

She said if the program works they will look at the possibility of expanding it make it available to all incoming students.

For more information about the Kiwanis club of Portsmouth visit them on Facbook or www.kiwanisofportsmouth.org.

For more information about Shawnee State University visit www.shawnee.edu.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.

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