Recruitment of Local Students
One of the main goals of the Digital Community Engagement Pathway is to directly recruit underserved students, including first-generation college students, African American and Latinx students, and students living at or below the poverty line. For instance, the university has a higher education campus in East St. Louis, which includes a Head Start program, a charter high school, and Upward Bound, but there is no direct path for these students to continue into a college education at SIUE. DCEP aims to take steps in fortifying a lasting partnership with communities such as East St. Louis by creating an infrastructure to make SIUE a consistent and reciprocal partner.
Currently, the Office of Admissions has a variety of programs dedicated to minority recruitment efforts, including:
- Chicago Area Bus Tours
- On-Site Admission Programs
- Email and postcard campaigns
- Attendance at college fairs
- Hosting the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC) Camp College Program
- Assisted with School of Pharmacy Healthcare Diversity Summer Camp
- Collaboration with the Hispanic Leaders Group of Greater St. Louis
- Hosting the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce St. Louis Foundation’s High School Hispanic Leadership Insititute
- Building partnerships with St. Louis Graduates
- Production of the Diversity and Inclusion brochure
- Offering scholarships to underrepresented students
- Attending the “Sharing the Dream” annual conference
We plan to work directly with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to create more targeted recruitment campaigns for high school students in the Metro East and beyond. Additionally, the project team will develop a series of promotional materials to distribute to high schools.
The Pathway plans to provide up to $4000 of funding per year per admitted student. The mean composite ACT score for SIUE students over the last two years has been 23; for African American students the mean ACT score has been 20. As a result, many of the financial tools the University uses to recruit students are not available to African American students (The Cougar Pride Scholarship, for instance, requires a score of 23 and the Meridian Scholarship averages students with an ACT of 30 or higher).
The Digital Community Engagement Pathway is designed to support underserved students by providing them with access to the High Impact Practices typical of an honors program. Therefore, rather than requiring a specific ACT score or GPA, we have designed a set of admissions standards that will allow us to evaluate a student’s commitment to the community and level of motivation in arenas of their life within and beyond the classroom.
In addition, because underserved students often apply later in the season, admissions to the program will continue through July, and the pilot Summer Bridge Program may be one place where we seek new students.
The application for admission to the Digital Community Engagement Pathway will be a supplement students can complete and submit in tandem with their general application for admission to SIUE. In this supplemental section, prospective students will be asked to: 1) respond to a short prompt describing why engaging with the community is a goal for their time in college; 2) choose something to share that represents their best work or what motivates them, including an assignment they are out proud of, a song/poem they wrote, a video or podcast they’ve created, or a reflective essay; and 3) choose something to share that indicates prior engagement with their community (such as a newspaper clipping, program, or certificate of participation).
This chart demonstrates general admissions requirements for all students alongside the additional honors requirements and the proposed DCEP additional requirements. Whereas admission to honors is primarily academic performance, DCEP’s admission requirements emphasize alternative measures of student suitability, including participation in community engagement or other creative activities.