LEWISTON – As Bates College prepares to begin its first academic year with a new set of core educational requirements, a private foundation in Falmouth has awarded the college $255,000 to support the requirements’ focus on writing skills.

The three-year grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets Inc.

The funds will support faculty development and a new peer tutoring program, as well as formal assessments of Bates’ new approaches to writing instruction.

Accepted by a faculty vote in 2006 and taking effect this fall for the classes of 2011 and after, the new general education requirements represent a significant shift in Bates’ curriculum and teaching methods. For many years, most Bates students have taken a first-year seminar with a writing focus and have written a senior thesis, a major undertaking that brings to fruition much of what they have learned at the college. The new writing program will develop students’ writing abilities through the interim.

Bates’ new general education requirements emphasize interdisciplinary study, scientific reasoning, laboratory experience and quantitative literacy, in addition to writing.