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Fifth Third Foundation gives $750K to help re-launch C-State Accelerate

The Fifth Third Foundation has made a $750,000 lead gift toward a $3 million initiative that will provide 600 low-income students entering Cincinnati State the opportunity to participate in the C-State Accelerate program. 

The C-State Accelerate program is a key priority of Cincinnati State’s $15 million, 50th Anniversary campaign and initiatives.

Fifth Third’s gift was announced at the March 23, 2021, meeting of the Cincinnati State Board of Trustees.

“We are very grateful to the Fifth Third Foundation for this wonderful gift,” said Dr. Monica Posey, President of Cincinnati State. “It not only supports student success, but also strengthens our regional workforce.”

The C-State Accelerate program, which is free for eligible students, provides comprehensive academic, personal, and financial support designed to help students stay in college, earn credits faster, and graduate on time.

“We are proud to provide this gift to deserving Cincinnati State students to help them advance their educational goals,” said Heidi Jark, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank.

“This is one of the many examples of how we are working to change people’s lives and create positive outcomes in our communities,” Jark added.

The C-State Accelerate program operated from 2015 to 2018 as part of a rigorous, statewide study conducted by a nationally recognized research organization, MDRC.

The student support program was modeled on a successful program developed by the City University of New York (CUNY), called ASAP.

The study showed that C-State Accelerate significantly increased retention and graduation rates for Pell-eligible students at the College.

“Cincinnati State has become a champion for helping students achieve their goals and career success,” said Fifth Third Cincinnati Region President Tim Elsbrock.

“We are excited to collaborate to ensure the next fifty years bring new opportunities for many more students in our hometown who otherwise might not have access to acquiring the skills they need to be successful and help make our community stronger,” Elsbrock said.

Including Fifth Third Foundation’s lead gift, Cincinnati State has received $1.9 million in donation commitments for the re-launch of C-State Accelerate.

These donation commitments include participation by every member of the Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors for the Cincinnati State Foundation, and the Alumni Association Board.

The amount raised so far will allow the first class of 200 C-State Accelerate scholars to begin the program in Fall Semester 2021.

(Article by Richard Curtis, Cincinnati State Interim Media/Communications Coordinator)