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B-CU Receives over $76,000 from NCAA Grant for Academic Support


Bethune-Cookman University was one of seven Division I schools to receive NCAA grant money to support academic programs designed to help student-athletes succeed in the classroom.

Along with Saint Peter’s, South Carolina Upstate, Texas-Rio Grande Valley, Maryland Eastern Shore, Idaho State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Bethune-Cookman’s grant of $76,941 came from  the fourth round of Accelerating Academic Success Program funding distributed by the NCAA.

The grants help schools improve the academic success of their student-athletes by supporting their efforts to meet the requirements of the Division I Academic Performance Program, which was developed to ensure schools provide an environment that supports education while enhancing the ability of student-athletes to earn a degree.

Reginald Thomas, Bethune-Cookman’s Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance, explains that receiving the grant shows the level of cooperation B-CU enjoys across the University to ensure the academic success of its student-athletes.

"The NCAA and the University have made a financial commitment to ensure the success of student-athletes and we are looking forward to upgrading our student-athlete academic center and equipping them with the necessary space and technology enhancements to continue their journey towards academic success in the classroom,” Thomas said. “The resources provided by the NCAA through the Academic Acceleration Support Program will give Dr. Earnest Fingers, our Assistant Athletic Director for the Office of Student-Athlete Support, and his staff the added space to conduct tutorial sessions and dedicated space for one on one meetings between student-athletes and Learning Specialists.”

Overseeing the funds is a committee that consists of Lynn W. Thompson, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics; Sandra Booker, Senior Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator; Robert “Tony” O’Neal, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Facilities and Special Initiatives; Dr. Earnest Fingers, Assistant Athletic Director for  Academic Support; LaToya Figueroa, Athletics Budget Coordinator; Dr. Helena Mariella-Walrond, University Provost; Chipella Jordan, Senior Grant Specialist; Donald Cooper, Director of Track And Field; and Carla Lester, Faculty Athletic Representative.

Last year, Bethune-Cookman placed over 100 student-athletes on the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) All-Academic Team for maintaining a grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher. In addition, the Wildcats men’s basketball, volleyball, tennis and track and field teams were recognized nationally for their academic success.

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship, and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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