In 2002, as a GEAR UP partner university, Loyola University Chicago designed and delivered very engaging academic outreach programs focused on post-secondary goals. One such project, Who Wants to Win a Scholarship? (WWWS?), was a uniquely productive combination of rigorous academics and cable television excitement that awarded scholarships and education-related prizes valued in excess of $750,000 to 245 students and helped process more than 1,000 college applications.
The lure of televised scholarship competitions engaged high school students from 14 different Chicago Public High Schools and a cadre of Academic Coaches “armed” with a set of 10 rigorous content study guides provided the necessary scholastic preparation. Hundreds of hopeful student contestants voluntarily attended four-hour study sessions staffed by Loyola’s Academic Coaches at the high schools on Saturday mornings.
The WWWS project logged more than 46,000 hours of academic coaching and established the model of productive intervention that continues to grow a decade later.