Villa Maria College is pleased to announce that it been named the recipient of a three-year, $175,000 grant from the John J. Oishei Foundation. The grant is focused on Villa Maria College’s commitment to strengthening services and technology for student success. Much of the grant will go toward improving the College’s Jump Start program, a summer bridge program aimed at easing the transition to college for first-generation, economically disadvantaged, and/or academically underprepared students. In reviewing the College’s proposal, the directors of the Oishei Foundation noted that they were “impressed with the commitment Villa Maria College has made to its students to ensure that they are prepared for college, remain in college, and successfully graduate for the future.”
The Jump Start program, now in its second year, gives students the opportunity to take pre-college math and English courses over the summer while honing other skills necessary to succeed in college—such as time management, financial literacy, and emotional intelligence—through a variety of engaging workshops and activities led by faculty, tutors, and peer mentors. Students will also participate in two off-campus “adventure” trips (such as rafting and rock-climbing) to build the confidence and peer support structures necessary for academic success and persistence to graduation.
The John R. Oishei Foundation (established in 1940 by John R. Oishei, founder of Trico Products Corporation), strives to be a catalyst for change to enhance economic vitality in and the quality of life for the Buffalo Niagara region. “Villa Maria College is extremely thankful to the John J. Oishei Foundation for its continued support of our college mission and core values in relation to serving college students and ensuring their future success,” stated College President Sister Marcella Marie Garus.
Villa Maria College is a private, co-educational Catholic college specializing in the applied arts and music. The College recently expanded its baccalaureate programs to include creative writing & literature, photography, graphic design, music performance, music with a jazz concentration, and music industry. Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree programs include animation, fashion design & merchandising, integrated arts, and interior design. Associate degree programs are offered in the applied arts (such as music performance, music business, and graphic design), as well as the liberal arts. The College also has the only accredited Physical Therapist Assistant program in Erie County, and is now offering a certificate program in Historic Preservation and Restoration through its interior design program. For more information call 716.896.0700