Ohio State’s Young Scholars Program Wins National Engagement Award; Program Recognized for Top Achievements in Outreach Partnerships

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The Ohio State University Young Scholars Program, a comprehensive pre-collegiate and collegiate educational outreach program, was today named the 2013 recipient of the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award.

The Ohio State University

The Young Scholars Program is a clear example of the outstanding things that can happen when universities and communities work together to give young people an opportunity to succeed.

The Ohio State University Young Scholars Program, a comprehensive pre-collegiate and collegiate educational outreach program, was today named the 2013 recipient of the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award. Sponsored by The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), it is considered one of the highest honors a community engagement program can attain.

The Magrath award recognizes four-year public universities for best practices in outreach and engagement partnerships and includes a $20,000 stipend and trophy. The award was announced during the APLU’s annual meeting held in Washington, D.C. It was accepted by Joseph E. Steinmetz, executive vice president and provost, and Valerie B. Lee, vice president for outreach and engagement and vice provost for diversity and inclusion. The award is named for C. Peter Magrath, who served as president of the APLU from 1992 to 2005.

The Young Scholars Program was developed by Ohio State to identify and prepare academically talented middle- and high-school students from economically disadvantaged households for college success. Participants are selected from Ohio’s nine largest urban school districts in Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lorain, Toledo and Youngstown.

“Ohio State takes great pride in partnering with our communities across the state,” said Interim President Joseph A. Alutto. “The Young Scholars Program is a clear example of the outstanding things that can happen when universities and communities work together to give young people an opportunity to succeed.”

Collaborating with parents, school officials and community partners, candidates participate in academic enrichment workshops, personal development sessions and career exploration beginning in middle school. Students with successful outcomes are inducted into the Young Scholars Program in the 10th grade. If the program requirements are met, scholars are guaranteed admission to Ohio State and receive a financial aid package based on their individual need. Initiated in 1988, the Young Scholars Program has produced nearly 800 first-generation college graduates.

In addition to supporting the mission of statewide public school districts, the program has helped foster an environment of increasing parent interest and involvement. The added investment of families in this educational process has led to hundreds of parents and siblings who have earned GEDs and college degrees, contributing to the intergenerational growth and improvement of their communities, according to Valerie Lee, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and vice president for outreach and engagement.

“The Young Scholars Program truly represents Ohio State’s land-grant mission by creating a pathway for talented students to achieve their goals and empowering those students to be role models for their families and communities,” Lee said. “We are honored that the APLU has recognized the incredible accomplishments of the program, our students and our partner school districts.”

Curtis Austin, director of the Young Scholars Program, underscored the importance of the efforts in the regional offices and local schools and noted that two resident programs have been developed at Ohio State to help students acclimate to the campus environment. The Young Scholars Summer Academy is a two-week residential component that simulates the college experience for rising seniors. Students live in residence halls and attend classes while also networking with faculty and professionals in their chosen field of study. The Building Mathematical Capacity Program focuses on increasing the math skills of rising ninth-grade students, a critical time in students’ educational careers.

“Both programs give our Young Scholars essential experiences that are crucial to their future success,” said Austin. “Following the summer academy, students enter their freshman year much more comfortable in a college setting. Our mathematics enrichment program gets young students excited about math, which is a key to their future success.”

Ohio State was previously a finalist for the Magrath Award in 2007 and 2008. Finalists for the 2013 award included Penn State University, the University of Texas-El Paso and the University of Idaho.

To view the Young Scholars Program nomination video used for the Magrath Award, visit http://go.osu.edu/yspvideo.

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About The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.

About the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award
The award, made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, recognizes four-year public universities that have redesigned their learning, discovery and engagement functions to become productively involved with their communities. It is named for C. Peter Magrath, APLU president from 1992-2005 and leading advocate for outreach and community engagement. The Magrath recipient is chosen from a pool of four regional winners of the Outreach Scholarship/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Awards, which are presented each fall during the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference.

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