We are committed to expanding access by creating new means of entry and success for students who have the potential to excel but are unable to follow traditional pathways to and through college. Consider the DirectConnect to UCF program, for example, which guarantees admission to students completing two-year degrees at one of UCF's six partner colleges throughout Central Florida.
Recognized nationally as a model program, it gives students who can't gain immediate admission to UCF -- because of finances, family or job commitments, high school academic performance or other obstacles -- the opportunity to demonstrate that they can succeed at the university level.
By unlocking untapped human potential in populations that otherwise might not get the opportunity to realize it, such alternative pathways to success -- which also include regional campuses for location-bound students, cutting-edge online and blended learning options, and special support programs for first-generation, transfer, minority and veteran students -- can positively impact not just students and their families but also the entire region.
UCF urgently needs philanthropic support to reach still more promising students; to better evaluate and meet those students' unique needs once they arrive on campus; and to help them afford tuition and living expenses while still concentrating on their studies.
As part of IGNITE, we seek $200 million in philanthropic commitments to support scholarships, programs, and initiatives that directly benefit current and future Knights.