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Project IMPACT at Kansas State University

Kansas State University implemented Project IMPACT for the recruitment, retention, graduation and placement of greater numbers of historically under-represented students in the target disciplines of agriculture, business and engineering at K-State.


Recruitment and scholarships 
Project IMPACT takes a proactive and aggressive approach in recruiting our multicultural and diverse students — a “we want you” approach to attract the best and brightest multicultural students. Scholarship money will prove crucial, especially in our recruitment of out-of-state students because of the rising costs of tuition.


Bridge programs and retention
Studies have shown that students of the majority graduate at a rate of 80 percent across the board while multicultural and diverse students have a graduation rate of 40 percent across the board. To strengthen our retention efforts, Project IMPACT includes programs focused on advising, mentoring and tutoring to ensure the success of our students. Bridge programs are essential as they have proven to play a huge role in ensuring that students get off to the right start by getting acclimated, making friends and forming alliances before the actual school year starts. Enrichment programs also provide a chance to help persuade and recruit potential students to K-State.


Graduation and job placement
Students involved in Project IMPACT are assisted from the time they enroll until the day they graduate. The companies participating in Project IMPACT have direct access to Project IMPACT participants. This allows those companies to identify, provide financial support and also provide mentorship and professional development to those students who would be potential candidates for job placement upon graduating.


A program with results

Project IMPACT represents a win for the many diverse and first-generation students at K-State. The playing field is leveled, a pathway into higher education is provided, college is made more affordable, and a college degree leading to a fruitful career becomes a reality. It also represents a victory for K-State and its desire to combine the excellence of a university education with the changing face of the region’s populace. Some key results are:


Across the university
  • 68% increase in multicultural student enrollment in the target disciplines since 2008.
  • 87% overall first-to-second year retention for Cargill Project IMPACT scholars compared to 70% for all multicultural students, and 83% for white students at K-State.
  • Average GPA of Cargill scholars is 2.96, and they are among the most outstanding and sought-after student leaders on campus.

College-specific results
College of Agriculture
  • 97% increase in multicultural student enrollment between 2008 and 2011
  • 60 Cargill scholars — 37 attended the Project IMPACT Summer Bridge Program
  • 83.3% retained or graduated from the university
  • 78.3% persisting or graduated in the target disciplines
  • 2.96 average cumulative GPA
College of Business Administration
  • 72% increase in multicultural student enrollment between 2008 and 2011
  • 32 Cargill scholars — 25 attended the Project IMPACT Summer Bridge Program
  • 96% retained or graduated from the university
  • 84% persisting or graduated in the target disciplines
  • 3.19 average cumulative GPA
  • Placed four students with Cargill, including two Cargill Scholars, as 2011 summer interns. All have received offers for internships or full-time employment.
College of Engineering
  • 54% increase in multicultural student enrollment between 2008 and 2011
  • 38 Cargill scholars — all attended the Project IMPACT Summer Bridge Program
  • 86.8% retained or graduated from the university
  • 81.6% persisting or graduated in the target disciplines
  • 3.16 average cumulative GPA

How you can help    

To find out more about how you can help Project IMPACT, contact Mitzi Richards, Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, 785-532-7507.

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