Promesa Scholars

Ferris State University Promesa Scholars
State
Michigan
Academic Level
Baccalaureate
Issue Area
Retention
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support,
Learning Community

Overview

The Center for Latin@ Studies (CLS) of Ferris State University (FSU) embraces and embodies the core values of FSU. CLS's mission lies in their promesa to get students to and through college by building on the strengths of the students' culture and identity.

With this promise in mind, Promesa Scholars Program (PSP) was founded on four pillars of success: community, leadership, cultural identity, academic success. 

With these pillars in mind, PSP established two goals that address their mission. The first goal is to increase Latino student success and graduation. This goal supports and focuses on the pillar of academic success, through a student's development within PSP. The second goal is to increase Latino leadership and recognition on campus. This second goal focuses on PSP's pillars of community, leadership, and cultural identity. This goal is met by focusing on developing cultural congruity skills through networking and leadership training.

Program Description

PSP is a Latino focused leadership and retention program developed in August of 2013. The program was initially designed to assist incoming freshman and transfer students in their success with their education at FSU and has grown to include all undergraduate students.

The first cohort of PSP consisted of six Latino students entering FSU, however after the Latino community grew from less than 300 students to over 800 students, in an academic year, PSP was revised in Fall of 2017 to address the on-campus growth.

The current practices established within PSP were developed with the program's four pillars in mind. These practices have included: a 5th and 10th week academic assessment, which helps in keeping scholars on task while addressing their academic needs; CQ cultural assessments; research mentoring with faculty to help build exposure to research, grad school; and build professional networking opportunities. 

These practices within PSP help keep scholars on task while addressing their academic needs, provide cultural identity development, build exposure academic research, provide career preparation, and opportunities to enhance leadership skills.

Outcome

  • Increased retention rates: The retention rate for Promesa Scholars from Fall 2017 to Spring 2018 was 97% compared to the campus average of 64%. From Spring 2018 to Fall 2018 the retention rate dropped to 76% but rose again to 96% from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019. Currently, the program has an 85% year-to-year retention rate for Promesa Scholars.
  • Increased GPAs: Promesa Scholars averaged a 2.8 GPA for Fall 2018, higher than their campus peers. The average FSU Hispanic/Latino GPA for Fall 2018 was 2.3.