We want all of our scholars to discover their brilliance and achieve their dreams. Here's how we partner with students to get them there.
1) WE SET HIGH STANDARDS: Our students take math, English, and general education courses. They outperform their peers in nearly every measure. Here are a couple examples from the 2014 freshman cohort:
Scholar's Studio Pass Rate for MATH 127=92% Pass Rate for all Other First Time Freshmen in MATH 127=54%
Scholar's Studio Pass Rate for ENGL 101=77% Pass Rate for all Other First Time Freshmen in ENGL 101=50%
Scholar's Studio Pass Rate for PSYC 101=71% Pass Rate for all Other First Time Freshmen in PSYC 101=58%
2) WE OFFER REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCES: Our scholars do more than read and think about the subjects they are studying. They go into the community to engage in fieldwork to see classroom topics in action. Off-campus trips are a vital part of the experience because they provide a reference point for course material, reinforce concepts learned in the classroom, and offer students a space to try out new ideas and skills. Past experiences have included conducting ethnographic research in Baltimore, visiting the United Nations in NYC, touring WEB DuBois' 7th Ward in Philadelphia, speaking with inmates at a State prison, taking oral histories from BSU alumni, participating in community organizing training, and much, much more.
3) WE OFFER MEANINGFUL SUPPORT: We want to make sure that all of our students have the tools they need to be successful. To ensure success, we offer tutors, supplemental instructors, mentors, and engaged faculty and staff.
4) OUR SCHOLARS DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES WITH HIGH GPAs: On average, our fall 2014 scholars earned GPAs that were .21 points higher than all other first time freshmen. This difference is significant because Scholar's Studio participants are more competitive for scholarships, internships, campus employment, and other important opportunities.
5) OUR SCHOLARS ARE MORE LIKELY TO MAINTAIN FINANCIAL AID: Students are required to pass 67% of their classes in order to maintain access to federal financial aid. This is called Satisfactory Academic Progress. Fall 2014 Scholar's Studio participants had an average pass rate of 78%, safely within the range of Satisfactory Academic Progress. The average pass rate for freshmen who did not participate in Scholar's Studio was 65%, meaning a large percentage of students risked losing access to financial aid, which is often a lifeline to college access.
6) WE IGNITE STUDENTS' LOVE FOR LEARNING: Scholar's Studio helps students re-orient their relationship with learning by helping them see the relevance of their education. They are motivated to learn not in preparation for a quiz or exam but to solve engaging problems that have the potential to make a difference in the community; and perhaps most significantly, students are motivated to learn because they can see how it will help them reach their goals.
7) OUR SCHOLARS ARE ENGAGED IN CIVIC LIFE: Scholar's Studio brings students in contact with members of the community and the issues that are important to them. Doing so (1) challenges students to consider new perspectives, (2) offers students opportunities to network, and (3) empowers them to work toward positive change in their own communities.
8) OUR SCHOLARS ARE ACADEMICALLY PREPARED FOR THE RIGORS OF COLLEGE: Students learn to think deeply and critically. Although our scholars are expected to develop a strong foundation of knowledge in the disciplines, we emphasize the process of learning and constructing knowledge over the ability to memorize discrete bits of information. The academic skills that students learn in Scholar's Studio teach them how to think, inquire, and solve problems and thus become self-directed learners.
9) WE BUILD STRONG COMMUNITIES: Scholar's Studio participants take 2-4 courses together. They are taught team building skills and learn to identify their own strengths and the strengths of others. We are intentional about building community so students do not feel like they are on this journey alone. Students hold one another accountable, form study groups, and create lifelong friendships.
10) WE ENCOURAGE SCHOLARS TO TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR HISTORY: Students who participate in Scholar's Studio learn about the history and contribution of their ancestors. They are encouraged to take pride in their past and use the strength of their predecessors to build a strong future.