The Young Scholars Program began in 1988 as a result of numerous studies conducted by The Ohio State University on the pattern of declining enrollment as well comparatively low retention and graduation rates among Black students. In 1987, Myles Brand, Vice President and Provost of the Office of Academic Affairs, headed a task force of faculty, staff, and students who were charged with developing a plan to reverse these trends and to increase the diversity of Ohio State’s student body, faculty, and staff. Recognizing the challenge they were faced with was part of a growing national and statewide dilemma, the task force, under the direction of President Edward Jennings, developed the Action Plan: Recruitment and Retention of Black Students at The Ohio State University.
Through this plan, the university began taking a national leadership role in attempting to address problems associated with the recruitment and retention of Black students. The plan drew on a variety of strategies that had been developed on smaller scales both at Ohio State and at other institutions. The Action Plan was comprehensive, interconnected, and innovative both for its long-ranging implications and for the full involvement of faculty, students, administrators, alumni, and community members. A key component of the plan was the implementation of the Young Scholars Program.