The Scholar Success Program
Since 1990, Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program has
helped thousands of low-income Hoosier students aspire to and afford a college
education. Nearly 110,000 21st Century Scholars are enrolled across the state
from 7th grade through college, and more than 30,000 students have
earned a degree using the 21st Century Scholarship.
Over the last several years, the program has evolved with a
single goal: to ensure more Scholars are prepared to successfully complete
college. Scholars are now required to earn a 2.5 high school GPA, and perhaps
the most significant change has been the addition of the Scholar Success
Program (SSP). The Scholar Success Program, approved by the General Assembly in
2012, is made up of 12 college and career readiness activities—three per year—Scholars
must complete during high school to earn their Scholarship.
Student Success Spotlight:
Purdue University West Lafayette launched Purdue Promise in 2009
with the vision of helping 21st Century Scholars match or exceed the success rates of the
general Purdue undergraduate population.
Purdue Promise provides four years of financial assistance and targeted
supports for Scholars—around 1,168 currently—who meet income eligibility
requirements. Initially, the program was socially oriented, offering peer mentoring
and activities. However, after a few years of relatively stagnant numbers, they
discovered they weren’t targeting a core issue: what students are facing in
their lives. To better address this, the program now offers supports such as
freshman and senior seminars, Blackboard modules focused on the Dimensions
of Wellness, and—perhaps most
importantly, Student Success Coaches.
First piloted in
2013, Student Success Coaches are a point of contact for academic and life matters;
they meet with students multiple times a semester and guide them through
activities each year. According to Michelle Ashcraft, Senior Assistant Director
and Coordinator of Purdue Promise, when Purdue’s Scholars struggle
academically, it’s often because of life circumstances, an area in which
Coaches are trained to help.