The Richmond Register

Education

April 28, 2013

Middle College student awarded $40K EKU academic scholarship

Raises ACT score 10 points in one year

RICHMOND — High school senior Bethany Breakall, 18, was afraid that college students would be able to tell she wasn’t one of them.

“But, I just kind of fit right in there,” said Bethany, who is a student in Middle College at Eastern Kentucky University.  

Middle College, a collaboration between Madison County Schools and EKU, allows high school juniors and seniors to receive both high school and college credits, all in a university campus setting.

Middle College students must take high school courses with the program’s two teachers. However, they also are required to take one college class per semester their junior year and two courses per semester their senior year.  

While enrolled in Middle College, a student has the potential to earn 18 hours of college credit before graduation.  

But, Bethany did not join Middle College until her senior year, having just enrolled in public school one year before.

Bethany and her three younger siblings were all home schooled until the 2011-12 school year. One sibling joined first grade, another fourth grade and the other eighth grade.

Bethany spent her junior year at Madison Southern High School, and she really enjoyed her time there, she said.

“I didn’t leave because I didn’t like it and I didn’t feel like I didn’t fit in, it was more that I wanted better opportunities, as far as with starting college,” she said.

Bethany’s mother, Angela, said she didn’t know what to expect when she enrolled her children in public school.

“I just put her in AP (advanced placement) courses because she seemed like she was fairly bright,” Angela said.

Bethany giggled at her mom’s compliment.

“You really don’t know how they (home-schooled students) measure up to other kids,” Angela continued. “But, she actually did extremely well.”

Taking a standardized test for the first time her junior year, Bethany scored a 19 out of a possible 36 on the ACT.

In the following months, Bethany took the ACT twice more and got a 25 both times.

When it came time to pick a college, she considered pursuing a Governor’s School for the Arts scholarship at the University of Kentucky. Bethany had been one of the four classical violinists selected for the GSA program one summer.

However, her ACT score of 25 only qualified her for a $1,500 a year partial scholarship. At the time, Bethany was unaware of another scholarship opportunity at EKU.

In February, Bethany took the EKU Residual ACT.

The score of this ACT could not be transferred to any other institution or agency and was used to consider scholarship eligibility at EKU only.

With scholarship deadlines looming, Bethany took this last chance to achieve a better score and rake in more college money.

“And I studied my butt off, let me tell you…” Bethany said.

The day after her test, having earned an ACT score of 29, Bethany received a $40,000 EKU Founders Award, the second highest award in this series of scholarships.

Reward amounts range from $14,000 to $52,000 and are based on academic achievement. Freshman recipients must only apply for college admission to be considered for the scholarships.

Bethany was required to have an unweighted high school grade point average of 3.75 or above and an ACT composite score from 29 to 31 to receive the four-year award of $40,000.

Bethany attributes her success to hours spent hovering over ACT practice books, but also to Middle College teacher Stephanie Smith.

“She’s the toughest teacher I’ve ever had,” Bethany said.

Smith administered timed essay questions, helped her improve her analytical skills and pushed each student to have better vocabulary — lessons that seemed to help her on every section of the ACT, Bethany said.

A typical day for Bethany

Bethany’s schedule is like that of any other college student. On Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays, she takes high school courses: College and Career Readiness, math and English. All of these are taught by two high school teachers, but in a classroom on EKU’s campus.

Stephanie Smith teaches history and English while Monica Mynk teaches math and science.  

Bethany also has a college Spanish course on these days.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Bethany only has one college course at 12:30 p.m..

“Which is nice,” she said.

Last semester, she earned credits for Sociology 131 and Music History 171.

The Middle College office is located in the bottom floor of Burnam Hall directly across from the Ravine.

“This is sort of the nest,” Angela said. “It gives the students a place to hang out in between classes.”

Bethany is a classical violinist with the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra and second-seat violinist in the Kentucky All-State Orchestra. At Burnam Hall, Bethany has a place to lock up her violin and practice all she wants in between classes.

She also has a microwave available to heat up her lunch and couches on which to relax or study.

One of the highlights of the Middle College program is that “you are not in a building all day,” Bethany said. “You can go outside when it’s nice and go to the Ravine to eat lunch or play music.”

Each Middle College student gets use of a MacBook and instead of carrying print textbooks, textbook content is uploaded onto the computers, Bethany said.

College books also are ordered for the students at no charge to the parents.

 For parents, eliminating even a few semesters of college costs is one appeal of Middle College, Angela said.

As a student herself and the mother of four children, “we understand the value of money, especially when it comes to your education,” she said.

Angela hopes her younger children can take advantage of the program in years to come.

Bethany said several people tried talking her out of enrolling in Middle College.

“They said, ‘It’s too hard. Why would you take all these hard classes your senior year?’”

Although she was a little intimidated at first, she said, “I knew it was the best decision I could have ever made.”

Look for another story about Middle College at EKU in the Richmond Register this week.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at cwylie@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.

1
Text Only
Education
  • 4-16 CMMShealthfair5.jpg Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

    Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

    But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

    April 16, 2014 13 Photos

  • Regents approve smoke-free campus policy

    The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Monday approved a tobacco-free campus policy and set 2014-15 rates for tuition, housing and meal plans.

    Effective June 1, the use of tobacco on all property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the university will be prohibited.

    April 14, 2014

  • 4-10 EKUDanceTheatre1.jpg EKU Dance Theatre tonight

    Performances are 8 p.m. tonight, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building.
    Tickets are available at the Whitlock Building ticket window or by calling 622-2171 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.
    Tickets are $5 for students, $10 general admission and free for children under the age of 12. Tickets also may be purchased at the door.
    This semester’s concert offers a variety of dance forms including modern/contemporary, hip hop, Middle Eastern, musical theater and Latin jazz.

    April 10, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-11 ChildAbusePrevPinwheels.jpg Pinwheels for prevention

    Madison Central High School CIA, or Central in Action club, placed 473 silver and blue pinwheels in the flower beds in front of the school, each representing a substantiated child abuse case reported in Madison County in 2013 to show support for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-10 TibetanMonks1.jpg Tibetan monks provide week of cultural experiences

    Berea College has had a special relationship with the Tibetan government-in-exile dating back to the 1990s. That is when the late John Stephenson, then Berea’s president, befriended the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, according to Jeff Richey, chair of Asian Studies at the college.

    April 10, 2014 13 Photos

  • 4-10 RedCedar4.jpg Open for learning

    While some may not have known all of the words or the exact notes to sing, parents and children in the Red Cedar Learning Cooperative enjoyed an afternoon jam session together Tuesday, complete with guitars, a ukulele, drums and a harmonica.

    April 9, 2014 13 Photos

  • 4-4 MightyCasey1a.jpg ‘The Mighty Casey’

    Show times for the 19th-century poem turned opera, “The Mighty Casey,” are 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday in the Black Box Theatre of the EKU Center for the Arts.
    It is presented by the Eastern Kentucky University music department’s Opera Workshop and the EKU Opera Guild, a student organization.
    Opera-goers will have seats right behind the pitcher’s mound as the story of the Mudville Nine and its star player, “the Mighty Casey,” unfolds.
    While living in a “sad little run-down town,” Mudville townspeople rally around their baseball hero to lift their spirits, said director and music professor Joyce Wolf.
     

    April 4, 2014 8 Photos

  • Science building ground breaking planned for summer

    A $66.3 million appropriation in the new state budget will fully fund completion of Eastern Kentucky University’s New Science Building, according to EKU President Michael Benson.
    A summer ground breaking ceremony is planned for the project, he said.
    Although the building’s $64 million first phase began use in January 2012, completion has awaited funding until now.

    April 1, 2014

  • 4-1 EKUDanceTheatre3.jpg Eastern Kentucky University Dance Theatre - Spring concert set April 9-12

    The Eastern Kentucky University Dance Theatre will present its spring concert Wednesday, April 9, though Saturday, April 12, in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building
    Performances will be 8 p.m. April 9-12 with an additional 2 p.m. Saturday show.

    April 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Scholarship available to those providing early childhood education

    Kentucky’s child care providers and those who train child care providers may be eligible for the Early Childhood Development Scholarship to further their college education.

    March 31, 2014

AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

Yes.
No
     View Results