MERIT PROGRAM FOR MINORITY ACHIEVERS
(Approved: BFC 4/7/87)
The Bloomington Faculty Council recognizes the desirability of enrolling more minority students on the Bloomington Campus and supports the establishment of a Merit Program for Minority Achievers, using the program outlined in Circular B36-87 [see below] as a guide. To implement the program, be it hereby resolved:
- 1. That the campus administration establish a planning group and commit planning funds from General Fund monies for Year One, to include $17,150 for expenses plus $10,000 for released time for the director.
- 2. That R&GD; [now Research and the University Graduate School] the IU Foundation, and the Bloomington Office of Scholarships and Financial Aids be enlisted to seek funding from outside sources for the student scholarship portion of the budget. A Quality Improvement Request should also be prepared to seek state funding.
- 3. That, if sufficient funding cannot be located by the above means to support 50 students in the fall of 1988, then the campus administration should facilitate their arrival by seeking an internal "loan" or subsidy from the Central Administration or the IU Foundation. This aid would support the program while additional efforts are made to generate a funding base.
Summary of Need for New Program
The total number of talented minority students attracted to and enrolled at IUB is woefully low. Four factors seem to contribute to this paucity of minority talent. First, recruiting efforts have been found to be limited and restricted to the state of Indiana. Second, in spite of the growing undergraduate enrollment, minority enrollment is reaching critically low levels, significantly reducing the pool of talented minority students from which the Honors Program may select. Third, institutional structures exist only for the nurturing of those minority students who are at academic risk or who are exceptionally gifted academically. Fourth, attractive incentives are not being offered by IUB to outstanding minority high school graduates.
Purpose of the New Program
The purpose of the Merit Program for Minority Achievers is to provide an annual merit-based competition for 50 gifted and talented minority (specifically Black, Hispanic, and Native American) high school graduates. The goal is to serve a neglected group of individuals whose talents and skills may go unnoticed because an institutional mechanism is not is place to assess and assist in the meeting of their needs. The program seeks to enrich the intellectual, creative, and leadership pool in the state of Indiana by searching nationwide for the most capable minority students. The first phase of the program should last four years. This will ensure an accurate evaluation of the program's success and the performance of the first 200 students. If successful, the program should be continued.
The program comes in response to the drain of the many capable minority residents of Indiana attending universities outside of the state. Additional aims of the program are to encourage minority high school students to become more competitive in a variety of domains, including but not limited to academic excellence, and to reward students for their efforts. The Merit Program for Minority Achievers focuses on high school graduates but also provides entry for IUB or transfer students at the college sophomore or junior level.
The Merit Program for Minority Achievers will 1) identify 50 first-rate students and assure them a $2000 scholarship for each of the four years of their baccalaureate study; 2) treat all out-of-state Minority Achievers as in-state residents for tuition purposes; 3) ensure Minority Achievers access to all financial aid resources available through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aids: 4) develop and offer a special cultural and academic enrichment seminar for first-year Minority Achievers, such as funded field trips to both cultural and academic settings with prior preparation and subsequent discussions and papers or projects supervised by appropriate faculty members; 5) afford opportunities for an early and continuing mentor relationship with IUB faculty and also with leaders of accessible business and cultural establishments (it is anticipated that these relationships will lead to summer and/or permanent employment contacts); 6) provide special advising and counseling throughout the program especially with regard to retention; 7) match, in a "buddy" relationship at the beginning of the third year of the program, junior and senior Minority Achievers with freshmen and sophomores whose interests lie in the same area; and 8) provide means whereby Minority Achievers communicate with other minority scholars in similar programs on other university campuses.
Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans on the Bloomington campus are underrepresented relative to their proportion among the pool of potential undergraduates. Accordingly, the program is open to minority group members of Black, Native American and Hispanic descent. Some evidence of outstanding achievement should be presented. This evidence may include a portfolio of creative or academic work and letters from community leaders, teachers, principals, or counselors indicating candidates' talents. Reports of participation in extracurricular activities, leadership in subject-oriented clubs or projects, membership in honorary societies or service organizations, etc., will be considered. Evidence of academic excellence such as high school grade point averages or standardized test scores may also be used to assess achievement. IUB students may also enter the program in their sophomore year if they meet the criteria outlined above for freshmen, and have two letters of recommendation from faculty members, and respond effectively in a personal interview. Transfer students from community or four year colleges may enter the program in the junior year if they meet the criteria outlined above.