On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, The Katie School hosted their second Diversity in Insurance Forum in Chicago, IL. This unique event was designed to connect members of local high schools and community-based organizations working with talented, college-bound students from traditionally underrepresented groups to the insurance industry. Attendees learned more about scholarships, internship opportunities, mentorships, career options, high school summer camps, and educational career paths.
The Katie School partners with InVEST, a grassroots program that teams educators with representatives from the insurance industry to provide exposure for insurance career opportunities, to host students of underrepresented groups in higher education from various Chicago area high schools for an annual Illinois State University campus visit. Most recently, students from Chicago Vocational and Thornton Township High School visited on April 27, 2017.
The students spent the day experiencing college life and getting an invaluable opportunity to network with insurance students and professionals. They ate lunch with current Katie School students and heard testimonials on the benefits of pursuing a degree in insurance. Additionally, an independent insurance agent answered questions on the difference between independent and captive agents and discussed the opportunities in sales. After stopping for a quick photo op with Reggie Redbird, the students toured the ISU quad including the State Farm Hall of Business. Finally, representatives from COUNTRY Financial of various backgrounds chatted with students on the wide breadth of career opportunities available in the insurance industry.
ISU has partnered with College Greenlight, a platform started by Cappex in 2012, to further its diversity recruitment efforts. College Greenlight is the leading online college and scholarship search platform focused on the needs of first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students. Greenlight’s 275,000 registered students come from its network of more than 1,200 college access organizations and other community based organizations (CBOs), who use the site to help their students research colleges, learn about new colleges, organize their college lists, and find scholarships to fund their education. In addition, organizations can use College Greenlight’s counselor tools to track and measure student progress. In the state of Illinois, Greenlight’s network includes more than 40,000 students and 130 organizations, including Chicago Scholars, One Goal, Collegiate Scholars Program, Illinois Tech Global Leaders Program, and ISAC.
Through the Greenlight platform, ISU is able to send targeted messages to students who meet our recruitment parameters (e.g. grades, area of interest). Through its organizational network, College Greenlight has cultivated an incredibly diverse pool of students (nationally more than 70% of students are African-American or Hispanic/Latino). By using Greenlight’s student messaging features, ISU is able to generate new interest from students from underrepresented communities. College Greenlight also helps connect ISU’s recruitment team to college access organizations/CBOs who can become pipelines of diverse students. More and more colleges across the country are seeing CBOs as sources of diverse talent and looking to establish partnerships with these organizations to recruit high-achieving underrepresented students who will be successful on campus. In 2016, ISU hosted a very successful “Diversity in Insurance” event, which was attended by several organizations from College Greenlight’s CBO community.