BUFFALO GROVE, Ill., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- In partnership with the Building Technologies Division of Siemens Industry, Inc. and its Sustainability Education Program, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Department of College and Career Preparation is offering an unprecedented opportunity for the Class of 2010 to connect with the admissions personnel from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The day-long event, held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Chicago today, introduces CPS seniors to HBCUs--schools that they might not normally consider because they're either out of state or perceived as beyond their financial means.
"During these tough economic times many of our students are struggling to find the money to pay for college," said Ron Huberman, CPS chief executive officer. "Not only does this event expose our students to some of the best institutions in the nation, the scholarships provided can help make their dream of going to college a reality."
Through this event, thousands of CPS seniors can virtually tour 40 HBCUs and meet the admissions staff in one location. Each student has a chance to register with schools that interest them and provide data on their academic records. Later in the evening, HBCU staff members from 23 schools announce the names of individual students and the amounts of scholarships they were willing to offer prospective candidates. Like an awards show, this part of the evening provides an exciting and lucrative cap to the entire event and approximately 300 students were offered partial, annual and full-ride scholarships collectively worth more than $35 million.
It's an established fact that HBCUs create an ideal educational environment for students with diverse backgrounds. Spanning the current and last two centuries, HBCUs have a legacy of providing a strong cultural, spiritual and academic platform from which students can launch and then fulfill their higher-education goals. Unfortunately, because HBCUs are predominantly located in southern states, students and parents living in Chicago are rarely exposed to students or alumni and likely not aware of the institutions or the educational opportunities they may offer.
Similarly, the admissions staffs of these venerable institutions are faced with budgetary concerns that prevent them from traveling and reaching out to prospective students in the North. Through the financial support of Building Technologies' Sustainability Education Program, for the fifth year in a row HBCUs and CPS students have an opportunity to connect.
"We recognized that a student's academic career is vulnerable at major transitional points," said Michael Moats, Siemens Sustainability Education Program director. "We like to create opportunities where our support and positive intervention can really help less privileged students rise above challenges; ones that usually don't get in the way of kids from more affluent families. With the HBCU fair, we help CPS students move past geographic and financial barriers -- things that would normally keep them from considering HBCUs -- schools with a rich tradition of fostering the academic and civic achievement of students from diverse backgrounds."
Since 2001, Siemens Building Technologies has helped HBCUs award millions of dollars in scholarships to students in Chicago. The outreach program continues to sponsor summer bridge programs to help students prepare for the world of work after high school, trunk parties to help provide college-bound students with needed school supplies, and adult learning programs. Sustainability Education is also active nationwide supporting STEM initiatives and green curricula development. The goal is to provide students opportunities that will lead to careers in energy-related fields, including environmental and energy engineering as well as 21st century green technician jobs. The program partners with professional and philanthropic organizations such as the Association for Career Technical Education and the Ford Motor Company Fund.
A division of Siemens Industry, Inc. (SII), Building Technologies (BT) Division is a leading provider of energy and environmental solutions, building controls, electrical distribution equipment, fire safety and security systems solutions. BT's solutions enable America's buildings to be more comfortable, secure and environmentally friendly as well as less costly to operate. With a U.S. headquarters in Buffalo Grove, Ill., BT employs 7,400 people and provides a full range of services and solutions from more than 100 locations coast-to-coast. Worldwide, the company has 28,000 employees and operates from more than 500 locations in 51 countries. The Building Technologies Division posted worldwide revenues of $9.02 billion in fiscal 2008. www.usa.siemens.com/buildingtechnologies
Siemens Industry, Inc. (SII) is the U.S. affiliate of Siemens' global Industry Sector business -- the world's leading supplier of production, transportation and building technology solutions. The company's integrated hardware and software technologies enable comprehensive industry-specific solutions for industrial and infrastructure providers to increase their productivity, sustainability and profitability. The Industry Sector includes six divisions: Building Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility, Drive Technologies and OSRAM SYLVANIA. With nearly 222,000 Siemens Industry Sector employees worldwide, the Industry Sector posted a worldwide profit of $5.82 billion on revenues of $57 billion in fiscal 2008. www.usa.siemens.com/Industry