During the summer, Dorian McCoy oversees programs that provide opportunities for high school students to participate and gain experience in an academic setting. Project Grad targets the success of students throughout their academic careers—from elementary school through college. This mission is particularly relevant to McCoy , associate professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, coordinator for the College Student Personnel program, and co-director of UT’s Project GRAD Summer Institute, whose research explores how students acquire/develop aspirational capital and their pursuit of graduate/professional degrees.
If students complete the Summer Institute and have a cumulative 2.75 grade point average, they are eligible to receive a scholarship of $500 per semester or up to $4,000 for postsecondary education.To date, more than 2,300 students from Austin-East and Fulton—mostly juniors and seniors—have participated in the Summer Institute. UT’s collaboration with Project GRAD earned a spot as an exemplar in the Carnegie Foundation Elective Community Engagement Classification designation process.
Together with teachers, counselors and parents, Project GRAD Knoxville identifies the needs of students in order to ensure that each one receives appropriate support to help them achieve success. Project GRAD Knoxville’s Student and Family Support (SFS) team works to address problems outside of the classroom that may impede student success. Through SFS, direct support services are provided to students and families in our community. These services include parental involvement activities and workshops; enrichment and group activities; before and after-school programs; access to community agencies; and tutoring and mentoring.
McCoy is on a grant team in Theory and Practice in Teacher Education that focuses on cultural competency training for Knox County schools. He has been selected for the 2018-19 Leadership Program conducted by the Office of the Provost and will participate in an intensive program to develop leadership skills with a cohort of other leaders from within the university.