Illinois College is pleased to announce that it is featured in a major new report from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), “Making Sure They Make It! Best Practices for Ensuring the Academic Success of First-Generation College Students.” Illinois College also is featured on the newly launched CIC/Walmart College Success Awards
The report summarizes the experiences of 50 colleges and universities that received substantial grants from the CIC/Walmart Foundation to help strengthen exemplary programs that support the education of first-generation students. The website’s main purpose is to help institutions of higher education that are interested in starting or improving programs and services for first-generation college students.
Illinois College received a $100,000 grant in 2008 from the CIC/Walmart College Success Awards program. The program goal was to increase retention of first-generation students. Illinois College used its award to begin the Yates Fellowship Program. Yates Fellows are first-generation college students selected to participate in a two-week intensive summer bridge program, as well as a yearlong learning community providing a jump start in the transition to college studies. Yates includes special coursework in math and English, and Yates Fellows are guided to use the college’s academic support services. Illinois College Yates Fellowship program is featured on the College Success Awards website.
Illinois College and the 49 other institutions that participated in the program were selected through a competitive application process in 2008 and 2010; 40 institutions received $100,000 grants and 10 received $50,000 grants to help build on programs that showed the greatest promise of increasing retention of the largest number of first-generation students. These College Success Award recipients worked together as a network to assist first-generation college students, learn from one another, and serve as models for other colleges and universities. All award winners had an undergraduate enrollment that includes at least 30 percent first-generation students among the most recent classes of first-year students.
Commenting on the results of the report, CIC President Richard Ekman said, “The many and multifaceted successes of the CIC/Walmart Award recipients speak to the value of the institutions’ ongoing efforts. We are delighted by so many positive outcomes, and it is our hope that the work of these 50 institutions will inspire other colleges and universities in all sectors of higher education to step up their own efforts to attract, retain, educate and graduate first-generation college students.” He added, “The report and the website provide information and best practices that will be applicable to any institution.”
For more information contact Andrew Jones, director of the Center for Academic Excellence, at 217-245-3574 or at firstname.lastname@example.org