Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) today announced that, in support of their ongoing partnership with SMASH and the Creating Pathways and Access for Student Success (CPASS) Foundation, the university will provide a 50 percent tuition scholarship for all eligible SMASH seniors, in addition to any and all other financial aid for which a student may be eligible.
Since expanding to Illinois in 2019, SMASH has partnered with Illinois Tech, as well as Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and CPASS Foundation to serve students in Chicago, Carbondale, and the East St. Louis Metro Area. Illinois Tech is Chicago’s only tech university. Their 40-plus undergraduate majors and special degree programs in tech-focused disciplines provide an innovation-focused educational experience that prepares students to succeed in fields that are shaping the future. In keeping with the university’s founding mission to provide unrivaled opportunity and value through world-class scientific and technological education to students from all walks of life, the joint commitment to ensuring access and success for all students between Illinois Tech and SMASH has helped students from around the region prepare for careers across STEM.
“SMASH’s innovative curriculum motivates and prepares high school students from all backgrounds to excel in STEM in college”. “Through the SMASH partnership, Illinois Tech is able to help develop the next generation of STEM leaders by engaging SMASH scholars on campus, with our faculty, and our labs.”
To ensure a successful partnership, an Academic Champion is identified to serve as a liaison between SMASH and the partner university. Rachel Hirsh, SMASH Illinois Academic Champion at Illinois Tech and Pre-Collegiate Instructor remarked, “The type of innovation our SMASH scholars created is what Illinois Tech is built on. SMASH students and Illinois Tech students are one and the same, smart, stem-focused, creative innovators.”
Creating a scholarship for SMASH alumni is the next step in the evolution of the partnership between Illinois Tech and SMASH. Plus, the scholarship further demonstrates the university’s commitment in diversifying the STEM field and ensuring educational equity.
SMASH Illinois Founding Site Director, Tracie Screven stated, “As a woman of color who attended her home state university, I understand first-hand the importance of exposing our black and brown youth to higher education and STEM. In order to keep our talented scholars in state, we need to provide them with the ongoing exposure to STEM pathways locally throughout their high school career. Our partnerships with universities, like Illinois Tech, and community anchor institutions, like the CPASS Foundation, is what makes our program impactful. SMASH Scholars are getting a jump start on their future, and now with the Illinois Tech scholarship a high quality STEM university is more accessible.”
To learn more about Illinois Tech and the scholarship, please visit their website.