Booth Ferris Foundation Awards Seton Hill $100,000 for Robert M. Brownlee Mathematics Enrichment Center

Seton Hill University has received a $100,000 grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation to support the university’s Robert M. Brownlee Mathematics Enrichment Center and its efforts to strengthen mathematics skills of undergraduate students. 

The New York-based foundation’s grant will allow the Mathematics Enrichment Center staff to assist underprepared students in first-year math courses and increase the proficiency of upper-level students in math-intensive disciplines, including business, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. 

“Seton Hill University thanks the Booth Ferris Foundation for this generous grant to help our students achieve in their mathematics classrooms,” said Seton Hill President Mary C. Finger. “With nearly 60 percent of Seton Hill incoming freshmen majoring in science and business fields, the need for both assistance and enrichment in mathematics continues to grow. The grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation will provide students with the skills they need to succeed in their classes and in the highly-technical fields that await them.” 

“As many students come from high schools that do not have the resources to prepare students for college-level math, the grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation will allow Seton Hill to identify these students early and offer them the assistance they need to find success in mathematics, gain confidence in their skills and move on to higher-level mathematics courses,” said Sister Susan Yochum, SC, Ph.D., Seton Hill Provost. “For students in math-intensive courses of study, the grant will also augment the rigor of their mathematics courses with enrichment opportunities to ensure they are well-prepared for the workplace or graduate school.”

The Robert M. Brownlee Mathematics Enrichment Center provides a centralized location for mathematics support on Seton Hill’s campus. It is designed to improve retention of all students at Seton Hill, including within the majors that they first enrolled at the University, and to prepare graduates for high-demand careers in the region. 

With the support of the Booth Ferris Foundation, Seton Hill will assess incoming freshman and transfer students using a web-based system called ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces). Based on each student’s assessment, underprepared students will be identified and provided one-on-one support, and all students will be placed into an appropriate first-year math course. ALEKS online learning modules will provide individualized instruction tailored to students’ needs in both foundational and upper-level math courses. 

The grant will also provide focused support in mathematics by trained peer leaders through remedial workshops and review labs; course-specific, collaborative study sessions; and one-on-one peer tutoring.  

Finally, a collaborative support team of faculty advisors and staff will ensure that students are mastering math concepts and making adequate progress toward a degree in their field. 

About the Booth Ferris Foundation 

The Booth Ferris Foundation was established in 1957 under the wills of Willis H. Booth and his wife, Chancie Ferris Booth. Since that time, approximately $281 million has been contributed from the Foundation to worthy organizations for a variety of charitable purposes. In the area of the arts, K-12 education and strengthening the nonprofit sector, the Foundation focuses on projects in New York City. With respect to the field of higher education, the Foundation will consider proposals from organizations in the Northeast United States.

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