The UofL effort is receiving $2.6 million in funding over five years from the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., and GE Foundation as part of a $24 million effort to create a college-going culture among low-income, minority and potential first-generation college students across the country.

Through the Office of Community Engagement, UofL will provide Shawnee and Moore high schools with on-site coaches to mentor students, help them with their studies, take them on field trips to college campuses and offer them enrichment activities over the summer.

Kentucky State University will head the effort at Fern Creek High School in cooperation with UofL, and received $1.3 million in funding.

The program will accommodate 50 students from each high-school grade level at the three schools.

Our coaches will work with these students day-in and day-out to motivate them, boost their confidence and show them how going to college can improve their lives, said UofL President James Ramsey.

Data gathered through the effort will be used to help guide the way schools measure student achievement, engage students and parents in college-going activities and inspire more students to enter careers in math, science and technology, said Ralph Fitzpatrick, associate UofL vice president for community engagement.

Fitzpatrick’s office leads the Signature Partnership, a team effort by the university, Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville Metro Government and a wide range of community organizations to enhance the quality of life for West Louisville residents. Improving education is a key area of focus in the partnership.

The national effort is being funded with a $20 million U.S. Department of Education grant awarded to COE and a $4 million matching gift from the GE Foundation, General Electric’s philanthropic organization.