East Central College Campus

East Central College has implemented a new program that will provide a full scholarship to students willing to serve as ambassadors.

The college board of trustees approved a pilot program and its funding at the Oct. 7 meeting that will allow a committee to select about five students who will give tours, work orientation, patrons’ events, college nights and a variety of recruitment events.

Vice President of Student Development Ina “Cookie” Hays, who proposed the program to the board, said the college has never had an actual program, but has had a student ambassador in the past.

“We had one student ambassador about 10-15 years ago and it worked very well,” she said. I’m not sure why we didn’t continue (with a program).”

Hays said the program will be run through the admissions department and a committee will be formed from various departments to select the ambassadors.

“We will be looking for a certain type (of student), one who can represent the college well,” she said.

Hays said the ambassadors will each receive a full scholarship in the amount of $1,000 per year, with half to be paid the first semester they serve.

“After fulfilling obligations, we would award the remaining money the next semester,” she said.

Hays said an ambassador program will promote student leadership and retention.

“It will allow them to make connections with the college,” she said. “Students tend to be retained at a higher rate any time they make a connection with the college outside of their traditional classes. When they feel connected, they talk to other students about it and get excited about it.”

Hays said many high schools have student government and other leadership programs and prospective students are looking for similar programs at the college level.

“We’re looking at this as a way to recruit students,” she said.

Hays said she hopes, in turn, those students involved with the program would recruit other students.