Milton Hershey School and Bloomsburg University Partner to Support Low-Income, First-Generation College Students
On Friday, Feb. 21, Milton Hershey School and Bloomsburg University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the ways the two schools will collaborate to support low-income, first-generation college students, including many MHS graduates who decide to continue their education at Bloomsburg University.
Bloomsburg joins a network of 23 postsecondary institutions and is the fifth Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) school to partner with MHS.
“Bloomsburg University has programs and resources in place to ensure that our graduates reach their goals,” said Milton Hershey School Vice President of Graduate Programs for Success (GPS) Tanya Baynham. “We are both committed to making sure students have support every step of the way from the first day on campus through academic, social, and financial challenges they may face during their postsecondary journey.”
With the agreement, Bloomsburg University will waive the admissions application fee for any Milton Hershey School student applying to the university. Once enrolled, MHS alumni can participate in the Jump Start Program, a two-week college readiness program that allows students to get acclimated to the Bloomsburg University community. After completing Jump Start, students transition to the Emerging Scholars Program (ESP), a comprehensive support program for first-generation college students. ESP helps students develop academic confidence and life skills that will further increase their likelihood of completing a college degree. Additionally, students receive peer mentoring and academic advising and participate in various workshops focused on academic success. Housing options are also available on campus for MHS graduates throughout the calendar year.
“We are excited to partner with the Milton Hershey School to provide opportunities for its students to matriculate to Bloomsburg University,” said BU President Bashar W. Hanna. “This program helps BU fulfill its mission of educating the residents of the Commonwealth, and it allows us the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of these hard-working, first-generation students. As a ‘first gen’ myself, I know firsthand the value of a college degree and its extraordinary impact on the student, his or her family, and their future.”
Milton Hershey School’s Graduate Programs for Success (GPS) Division coordinates postsecondary partnerships and supports graduates entering college, technical programs, the workforce, and the military. MHS career counselors and transition specialists focus on increasing communication and building supportive relationships with graduates through on-site campus visits, weekly check-ins, academic and financial aid advice, and connections to the extensive MHS alumni network and future career opportunities.