First Class of Premier Scholars Enrolls at UNO
Twenty-one freshmen students are now enrolled at the University of New Orleans as part of Students4HIGHER's first class of Premier Scholars. The program supports high-performing local students who seek degrees in specific academic majors that are key to the growth of the New Orleans economy.
Students4HIGHER, a New Orleans-based, private, not-for-profit initiative, was started by two UNOgraduates who are grateful for the University's role in preparing them for the professional workforce. The First-Gen Scholars program was launched in the fall of 2010, and assists certain qualified first-generation college students in their pursuit of a college degree, through a combination of financial assistance, mentoring and relevant part-time employment. The Premier Scholars program builds on the First-Gen program, but is restricted to top graduates of local public, charter and private high schools who wish to pursue their undergraduate studies at UNO in one of the identified key programs.
The initial class of Premier Scholars, the Class of 2017, contains 21 graduates of local public, charter and private high schools who are seeking collegiate academic majors including engineering, computer science, jazz studies, accounting and film.
"The underlying principles of the Students4HIGHER initiative are to provide properly qualified high school graduates with a package of scholarships, mentorships and internships, to help ensure a 4-year graduation from UNO," said Barry LeBlanc, who foundedStudents4HIGHER with his wife, Teresa. "The Premier Scholars program incorporates these principles, and seeks to match individual high-performing college students with complementary businesses in the local community. In essence, this is creating a tailored workforce, educated locally and working locally."
"The benefits of this program are significant to the University of New Orleans," said UNO President Peter J. Fos. "The Board of Regents funding formula rewards universities whose students graduate in four years, and this program is based on a 4-year graduation."