Academic Excellence Fund

The Academic Excellence Fund helps make Arts and Sciences students’ time at UK a well-rounded, unforgettable experience, while preparing them to compete in a global world. Your support helps provide valuable opportunities for students through Education Abroad, Living Learning Programs, pilot programs, and much more. Your generosity in giving to the Academic Excellence Fund enables the Dean to allocate resources quickly, seek innovative solutions, and respond to opportunities for the benefit of students and faculty.

Make a gift to the Academic Excellece Fund

Living Learning Programs

Arts & Sciences is proud to support multiple Living Learning Programs which allow students an opportunity to live and learn together in an integrated academic residential environment where they are able to connect with each other, faculty, and the community. The Academic Excellence Fund allows the Dean to target specific needs in these programs. This includes providing resources to students in Living Learning Programs such as Wired, a program that facilitates rich experiences and interdisciplinary opportunities; Greenhouse, which engages students in learning about many aspects of the local environment, all in the context of sustainability; and STEMCats, the College’s science, medicine and research focused living-learning community.

“Wired was a great launching pad for me. It really promoted how I wanted to be involved on campus and the things I wanted to do moving forward.” - Louis Hahn, Class of 2015


Pilot Programs

 The Academic Excellence Fund also allows the Dean to fund innovative pilot programs serving A&S students as well as all students at the University of Kentucky. One such program is FastTrack, a one-week intensive educational program which takes place the week before the start of the fall semester. FastTrack allows incoming first-year students to move onto campus early and get started on a successful year by experiencing college-level course work prior to the start of the semester. Launched four years ago as a pilot program for math preparation, FastTrack now offers additional courses in biology, chemistry, engineering, Spanish language, and writing, and rhetoric & digital studies. FastTrack participants have significantly higher retention rates compared to peers and also report forming lasting friendships, gaining an understanding of expectations for college courses and homework, and stronger relationships with professors.

“I would really recommend FastTrack for any incoming student, not just those in the STEM disciplines. And because we’ve expanded it, it really is open to anyone. I would love to see every A&S incoming major taking part in the program.” – Ruth Beattie, professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Biology and associate dean of advising


Education Abroad

Arts & Sciences wants to position our students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world. To that end, the College uses the Academic Excellence Fund to provide scholarships for students to experience cultures and studies outside of the United States.

“I learned a lot about the English culture. I was also exposed to Germans, Spanish people, French, Italians. So I was still able to get that multi-cultural aspect even though I was still in an English speaking country. Now I have friends all over the world! I wouldn’t trade that for anything.” – Sarah Moore, studied abroad in Preston, England.

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