The University of Indianapolis has created a new full-scholarship program for students who graduate from Christel House Academy South. Starting in the fall semester of 2017, the scholarship will be available to up to 10 students. The program will include two types of scholarships: one to cover full tuition and another to cover the room and board. One of the requirements for the scholarship includes that the student must have taken dual-credit courses provided by university professors. Students must also have a need for financial support.
“What we’re hoping is that some of the students that have the intellectual ability but not the financial ability to go to college will now be able to go to college,” said President Rob Manuel. “Individuals who fit our mission that have the academic skillset to come will now have the financial ability to come.”
According to Head of Schools for Christel House Academy Carey Dahncke, to help the students apply for this scholarship, other scholarships and colleges, they receive assistance from the University of Indianapolis Office of Admissions, Christel House Academy faculty and Christel House Academy’s college admissions counselor.
According to Manuel, if it were not for the long-time relationship with Christel House Academy, the scholarship program would not have happened. The idea was the result of multiple conversations that had been going on for a while, not just a one-time idea.
“We’ve had a 20-year history with Christel and the Christel House Academy,” Manuel said. “We’re both concerned about the educational pipeline, so how you move from elementary, to high school, to college, to graduate, to work. We’ve been talking forever about how to make that as seamless as possible, so how to make people not leak out. We’ve been combining programs. We’ve been sending our faculty there to teach. Our student teachers have been going. They’ve been sending students to events. We’ve been working together for years. And then we decided that one of the really big issues is the ability to pay and move forward. We have lots of scholarship dollars and endowment specifically for students that come from programs like that, and we decided that with our relationship we wanted to see if we could increase the college-going rate.”
Manuel said that giving the opportunity to students who usually are not given a chance to have the college experience is why he worked with Christel House Academy to help its students.
“What we’re worried about is access to education—higher education specifically—because higher education has benefits to the community, to society,” Manuel said. “It has benefits to the individual. It has economic benefits and workforce developments in the area. So as an institution, we are concerned about your experiences as a student, and we are also concerned about what you do when you leave and how that makes the quality of life better for everybody around you. That philosophical common ground is what connected us to make the conversation happen about the scholarships.”
Dahncke thanked Manuel and mentioned how he was very helpful and creative, with out-of-the-box ideas to help students out.
“It’s something that we’ve been talking [about] with the university leadership for a while, and we’ve been working on getting our students into higher education,” Dahncke said. “I hope high schools and universities start thinking smartly about how you get kids to graduate from high school and also go into and excel in higher education.”