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Foundation Provides $20 Million To Boost Minority College- Going

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The General Electric Company has announced a $20-million initiative aimed at boosting college enrollment among poor and minority students at schools in selected communities.

The goal of the initiative--said to be one of the largest corporate commitments of its kind--is to double the number of college-bound students at the targeted schools by the end of the century.

The schools have not yet been chosen, but a statement by the ge Foundation said the "initial focus" of the effort would be on communities where the company has offices or plants.

The project will include Saturday and after-school "academies" in science, mathematics, and English; training for taking admissions tests; teacher-improvement programs; donations of equipment; and scholarships for qualified students. It will involve volunteers as tutors and mentors.

The effort marks an expansion of an existing program by the foundation to help minority high-school students in poor, rural, and inner-city areas gain admission to college.

Phyllis McGrath, a spokesman for the foundation, said the program currently is operating in such diverse areas as the East Harlem section of New York City, Cincinnati, and rural, predominantly black Lowndes County, Ala.

$15-Million Faculty Project

In another new education initiative, the company has launched a $15-million grant program designed to increase the number of women and members of minority groups who teach business, engineering, and science in colleges and universities.

The money will be used in a combination of ways, including the underwriting of fellowships and forgivable loans, according to Ms. McGrath.

In announcing the program, foundation officials stressed the critical shortages of qualified minority and female faculty applicants in technical and business fields. One of the goals of the program, they said, is to add 500 blacks and Hispanics and 100 women to the ranks of engineering teachers by the year 2000.

--pw

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