Indiana Expands Scholars Program

Posted: Updated:

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has expanded to 20 the number of Indiana colleges in its statewide ScholarCorps program. The move is designed to increase on-campus support and success rates for students enrolled in the state's 21st Century Scholars program. October 8, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has expanded its statewide ScholarCorps program to a total of 20 Indiana colleges in an effort to increase on-campus support and success rates for students enrolled in the state’s 21st Century Scholars program. ScholarCorps aims to increase Scholar retention and graduation by connecting students to campus resources, information and services needed to be successful in college.

“We cannot afford to let our students—especially those who are the first in their families to go to college—be anonymous when they arrive on campus,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “ScholarCorps provides 21st Century Scholars with a face and a place to access campus resources and learn to navigate their path to a college degree.”

The 20 ScholarCorps campuses include: Ball State University, Indiana State University, Indiana University-Bloomington, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, IU Southeast, IPFW,IUPUI, Ivy Tech Community College-Central, Ivy Tech-East Central, Ivy Tech-Lafayette, Ivy Tech-Northeast, Ivy Tech-Terre Haute, Purdue University-West Lafayette, Purdue Calumet, University of Indianapolis, University of Southern Indiana and Vincennes University.

“Our ScholarCorps member offers resources and direct services in the areas of academic persistence, student engagement, career exploration, service learning and financial literacy,” said Yvonne Smith, Associate Director for Student Success at Purdue. “Not only are students being mentored by trained student leaders, they are also being guided and supported with information necessary to be successful at Purdue—all with the intention of increasing the retention and graduation of 21st Century Scholars.”

ScholarCorps members, many of whom are 21st Century Scholar alumni themselves, are placed on college campuses through an application process that prioritizes campuses with the largest Scholar enrollment for maximum impact. Beginning with 10 campuses three years ago, ScholarCorps expanded to 15 campuses last year and 20 campuses this fall. In 2013-14 alone, ScholarCorps members contributed more than 21,000 hours of direct service and engaged more than 2,500 Scholars in at least eight hours of educationally purposeful activities, including community engagement, financial literacy and academic performance.

“Vincennes University has hosted ScholarCorps since the inception of the program three years ago and each of our ScholarCorps members has done an outstanding job of meeting the retention and success needs of our 21st Century Scholars,” said Rick Coleman, Director for Career and Employer Relations at Vincennes University.

ScholarCorps is a full-time AmeriCorps program that engages more than 85,000 Americans each year in service to education, public safety, health and the environment. Members who successfully complete a minimum 1,700 hours of service receive a modest living allowance and are eligible to receive a monetary AmeriCorps Education Award.

ScholarCorps by the Numbers (2013-2014):

-21,080 direct hours of service were contributed by ScholarCorps members in 2013-2014

-2,546 college Scholars participated in a minimum of 8 hours of educationally purposeful activities (e.g., community engagement, financial literacy, academic performance, etc.)

-2,034 college student volunteers (Scholars and non-Scholars) served 8,441 hours of volunteer service

-180 new on-campus and community-based partnerships have been established

-151 new on-campus and community-based volunteers contributed 385 hours of volunteer service

-38 campus-wide days of service were led and coordinated by ScholarCorps members

About the 21st Century Scholars Program

Established in 1990, Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program is a need-based, early-promise scholarship program that provides students the opportunity to earn up to a four years of paid tuition at an Indiana college. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s ScholarCorps expansion is the latest step in a fundamental redesign of the 21st Century Scholars program focused on increasing college completion and student success.

In August 2014, the Commission announced that it had been awarded a $2.4 million grant from USA Funds to provide a trained “College Success Coach” to nearly 2,500 Scholars at Indiana State University, IUPUI and Ivy Tech Community College this year. Other recent reforms have included:

-College Readiness: Improving college-readiness by requiring 21st Century Scholars to graduate high school with a 2.5 GPA and complete a Scholar Success Program that helps them prepare for the rigors of college;

-College Completion: Keeping Scholars on track to graduate from college on time through new on-time credit completion requirements that expect students to earn at least 30 credits per academic year; and

-Coordinated Support: Providing more consistent and coordinated support for 21st Century Scholars from the time they enroll in the program to the day they graduate from college through expanded partnerships with local schools, colleges, county College Success Coalitions and other community partners.

Source: Indiana Commission for Higher Education