Grant to fund expanded services for 21st Century Scholars and parents

December 20 2006

A $99,700 grant from Lumina Foundation for Education, Inc. will enable Indiana State University to expand its efforts to help 21st Century Scholars succeed in college.

The grant will fund seven specific initiatives involving methods widely recognized as effective in improving academic success. These include increasing parental involvement and support, financial workshops, providing cultural and academic transition for students entering college, increasing student involvement in college and the community, providing student jobs and internships, and recognizing academic achievement.

Begun in 1990, the 21st Century Scholars program guarantees four years of public college or university tuition to students from low and moderate income families who fulfill a good citizenship pledge made as 7th or 8th graders.

While the 21st Century Scholars program supports parental involvement through high school, that support ends once a student enrolls in college. The grant from Lumina Foundation will enable ISU to continue such support, said Catherine A. Baker, director of the university?s Student Academic Services Center.

Many 21st Century Scholars are first generation college students who can especially benefit from increased parental involvement, Baker noted.

"Parents are often as much in the dark about college as they are preparation for college. By continuing to involve parents in the process, we will help give students a leg up on the system," she said. "Our ultimate goal is the success of students."

Only about half of all students eligible for the 21st Century Scholars program attend a college or university and only about half of those who do attend graduate within five years. Indiana State is out to increase that percentage, Baker said.

The programs will primarily serve approximately 135 first-year and transfer Scholars while providing some services, including employment and Student Government Association representation, for all of the nearly 400 21st Century Scholars on the ISU campus.

Each of the programs funded by the Lumina Foundation grant will be evaluated at the end of the two-year grant period to determine which are most effective at ensuring student success. The university is committed to reallocating resources and services to continue those programs that are found to have the greatest impact, Baker said.

Lumina Foundation for Education is an Indianapolis-based private foundation dedicated to expanding access and success in education beyond high school.

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Contact: Catherine A. Baker, director, Student Academic Services Center, Indiana State University, (812) 237-2300 or cbaker6@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Lumina Foundation for Educaton, Inc. will enable Indiana State University to expand its efforts to help to help 21st Century Scholars succeed in college.

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