The Business Scholars Program in the College of Business was recently recognized with the 2005 Innovative Achievement Award from the Southwestern Business Dean’s Association.
The Business Scholars Program was established in 2002 as a mentoring program for economically disadvantaged and/or first-generation college students pursuing careers in business. This program was designed to help students make a smooth transition from high school to college and on to graduation.
This young program is innovative in two aspects. First, instead of looking at only academic solutions to solving retention problems, the Business Scholars Program addresses the cultural, mental and financial restrictions that prevent students from achieving academic success. By exposing students to a diverse array of activities, it creates a more well-rounded business student. Secondly, instead of viewing success as keeping these students in college, we challenge our students to become leaders in their respective fields and to graduate in the top 25 percent of their business class with academic honors.
Students attend monthly meetings, receive academic mentoring, learn about financial resources and receive career counseling. Since the program’s inception it has grown to over 90 students, has awarded over $23,000 in scholarships and boasts an 80 percent student retention rate, as compared to the university’s average of 66 percent.
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