Adams State partners with Denver Scholarship Fund


Adams State became the first college beyond the Front Range to partner with the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF), May 8. Adams State President David Svaldi and DSF Executive Director Cindy Abramson signed the partnership agreement in a luncheon on campus.

The Denver Scholarship Foundation was created to inspire and empower Denver Public Schools' (DPS) students to complete postsecondary higher education. DSF established in-school Future Centers that give students personal guidance through the college selection, application, and financial aid processes. It also provides need-based scholarships and retention services to ensure students successfully complete college.

As a DSF partner, Adams State will provide a 50% match of the DSF scholarship to DSF scholars who choose Adams State. This amounts to an additional $1,400-$1,700 per year, noted Eric Carpio, Adams State Assistant VP of Enrollment Management. DSF scholars who attend a partner college receive more funding from DSF than students who attend a non-partner college. In 2012-13, DSF scholars who attend a partner college receive $2,800-$3,400 in DSF funding per year.

"Our partnership with DSF outlines a strategy for academic success. The students will be involved with intentional support services to help keep them here and graduate," Carpio added. Adams State recently established its Student Success Center, which centralizes and expands a variety of college services, with funding from a Title V grant for Hispanic Serving Institutions. Adams State will also offer the students career counseling and alumni services.

Abramson explained how the DSF scholarship program has grown since its inception five years ago. "It's not simply a scholarship. We have a team of people in place to support students in their success. There is such enthusiasm here at Adams State for this partnership."

Three of the 14 DPS students now attending Adams State also attended the luncheon. They included Joshua Spearman, Joanna Casillas, and Daniell Hernandez.

"This is really about the students, and having the opportunity, as I did, as a first-generation college student, to be totally accepted and valued," Svaldi said. "You fit well here. We think Adams State is the perfect place for you. We look forward to making the college dream real for more Denver Public School students." It's estimated nine new DSF scholars will enroll at Adams State this fall.

In Denver, Admissions Counselor Priscilla Gardea provides outreach to the students and their families. Oneyda Maestas, Adams State's coordinator of CASA (Cultural Awareness Student Achievement), will work with DPS students once they arrive on campus.

Adams State's partnership includes collaborating with DSF on college access outreach efforts and strategies that target DPS students and specifically encourage enrollment at ASC. The outreach efforts will focus on 16 high schools with Future Centers, which are working to increase overall college enrollment by 10 percent each year over the next three years.

More about the Denver Scholarship Foundation.

By Julie Waechter