April Hoskins in NOVA program at Eastern

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RICHMOND, KY – Bedford resident April Hoskins is among the 206 participants in Eastern Kentucky University’s NOVA program, which serves students with academic potential who are the first in their family to pursue a four-year degree.

Hoskins, a 2009 Trimble County High School graduate, is a senior Chemistry major at EKU.

The federally-funded TRiO Student Support Services program strives to increase the retention and graduation rates of first-generation college students at EKU through a variety of services and experiences: academic instruction; peer-to-peer mentoring; assistance with academic advising, orientation and registration; grant aid and scholarship opportunities; service learning opportunities career and graduate school advising; living-learning experiences; financial aid consulting; financial literacy training; and leadership development.

Of the 68 first-time freshmen who joined NOVA in Fall 2011, 53 returned for Fall 2012, a retention rate of 78 percent. More than 1,000 students have graduated as “NOVA Stars” since the program’s inception in 1975.

A living-learning NOVA community in the university’s McGregor Hall gives students a chance to connect to new NOVA friends as well as old friends for returning NOVA participants. It also gives the students opportunities for service learning and fundraising as well as chances to become involved in campus activities and events.

A team of seasoned NOVA students serve as mentors peer leaders to help younger NOVA students become successful in college and in life.