Inaugural program to support first-year students

The Lion-Hearted Initiative is an Educational Opportunity Program
Lion-Hearted Initiative

In the first year of the Lion-Hearted Initiative, Penn State Lehigh Valley plans to enroll 15 students. The goal of the program is to support first-year, first-time students.

Credit: Amber Campbell

The Lion-Hearted Initiative, which is an Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at Penn State Lehigh Valley, will support first-year, first-time students. EOP is a higher education program funded by Penn State. The Lion-Hearted Initiative is designed to meet the academic and financial needs of students whose potential for college may not be completely reflected in their high school performance and whose economic background makes it difficult for them to pursue a college education without financial aid and institutional support. Penn State Lehigh Valley’s program will facilitate students’ transitions from high school and lead to college readiness, positive adjustments, personal development, academic success and persistence to graduation.

“Our program will make higher education possible by building a strong community of students who are eager to learn by exposing them to academic, student life and career experiences that focus on transition and success,” said Denise O’Neill, director of enrollment management at Penn State Lehigh Valley. “The Lion-Hearted Initiative is the inaugural EOP at PSU-LV to be offered at our Center Valley location. We are excited to offer this because it directly supports our mission as a land-grant institution to promote accessibility and affordability of a college degree to the people from Pennsylvania.”

In the first year of the program, the campus plans to enroll 15 students. Students who will be admitted in the Lion-Hearted Initiative will have high financial need; be first-generation college students; have multicultural backgrounds; be from Pennsylvania; and be enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS).

Scholarships are available for eligible students. This program is being filled on a rolling admission basis. Besides this funding, students will also benefit from:

  • Study skills course work
  • Access to tutoring
  • Personal, academic, and career support services
  • A personal coach/mentor
  • Specialized student success seminars
  • A pre-college Summer Bridge Program
  • A book award for the following semester

This year’s Summer Bridge Program for the Lion-Hearted Initiative will be held Aug. 1-3 at Penn State Schuylkill. This program will join students with a skilled team of faculty, staff and student leaders to assist with both academic-preparation and personal development.

To find out more information, contact O’Neill at 610-285-5035 or [email protected]. To apply, visit the Educational Opportunity Program website.



Dennille Schuler

Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley

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