Frequently Asked Questions

...we build sustainable business/education partnerships while motivating students to develop good habits for success...

GENERAL PROGRAM QUESTIONS

What is The Challenge Program, Inc.?

The Challenge Program, Inc. (TCP) is a motivational high school program for all students in grades 10, 11, and 12, encouraging students to succeed in school and in their future careers.

TCP encourages all students, regardless of their G.P.A., to move forward, progress towards a goal, and find something in their school-life that they can change, improve upon or excel.

We are not a scholarship program.

What does TCP motivate students to do?

TCP challenges students to reach high and achieve more in five categories linked to academic and career success.

  1. Attendance
  2. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)
  3. Community Service
  4. Academic Improvement
  5. Academic Excellence
What does building "sustainable business/education partnerships" mean?

Part of TCP’s mission is to connect business and education.

We believe that business and education should come together to prepare students for what lies beyond the classroom.

Partnering a business with a school allows an exchange of information vital to this preparation.

Learn about the Education Improvement Tax Credit programs.

Visit our webpage https://www.tcpinc.org/eitc/

BUSINESSES

What are the benefits of TCP?

Businesses raise awareness with the future workforce regarding their organizations and opportunities in the communities where students live.

Businesses have hired students for the summer, as interns, or as full-time employees upon graduation.

Businesses have an opportunity to engage in a regional advisory council with other businesses and schools in their community. These councils provide productive and informative communication between businesses and education, keeping each other abreast of needs and requirements in their respective fields.

How does a business become a "Business Partner"?

  1. Click one of the forms below or go to the blue box at the left and select either
    1. Request a Call
    2. Business Contact Form
  2. TCP will contact you.
What is the role of the Business Partner?

  1. Business Partners...
    1. Build a relationship and engage with educators and students
    2. Attend The Challenge Program’s kick-off assembly in the fall at the school
    3. Attend and Present awards at the Senior Awards Program in the spring at the school
    4. Engage in at least one workforce development activity with the students and educators
    5. Financially support The Challenge Program, Inc. at your selected school or schools
    6. Choose to engage in an advisory council with other businesses and schools in your community
What are workforce development activities?

  1. Workforce development activities involve the business partner and a group of students and/or educators from the business's selected school/s.  An activity can take place
    1. In the classroom
    2. In the business’s facility
    3. In a related location
  2. We encourage you to visit the following TCP webpage
    1. tcpinc.org/workforce-development
How can workforce development activities help businesses?

  1. Workforce development activities promote
    1. Awareness of a business in the community with the next workforce generation
    2. Recruitment
    3. Careers in skills-gap fields
    4. Help students connect the relevance of what they are doing while in school
  2. We encourage you to visit the following TCP webpage
    1. tcpinc.org/workforce-development
Is there a cost to the program?

  1. Yes.
  2. The Business Partner financially supports our program in your selected school/s and funds the awards.
  3. The are several school sponsorship levels and opportunities. Please contact us for more information using the links below.
  4. TCP gains additional support from TCP fundraising events, and grant funding.
  5. Businesses have utilized Special Purpose Entity and Education Improvement Tax Credit programs to sponsor schools.
  6. To learn more, contact us by submitting one of the following forms:
    1. Request a Call
    2. Business Contact Form

EDUCATORS

How does TCP benefit students?

  1. TCP is a program for all students in grades 10, 11, and 12. They are challenged to achieve personally and academically.
  2. Our program has shown that students who may not be putting forth their best efforts in school for a variety of reasons have responded to The Challenge Program and turned unproductive behaviors and attitudes around to realize their full potential.
  3. Students with generally high academic abilities report that TCP helped them realize the importance of attendance and community service.
  4. Students hear directly from a local business representative about what is necessary to be successful in the workplace.  They begin to connect what they are learning in school and the five award categories to their future success.
  5. Students have an opportunity to earn cash incentives from TCP
  6. Students have an opportunity to enter our annual Student of the Year competition
Is there a benefit for educators?

YES!

  1. TCP assists educators with fulfilling state career artifacts, and goals and standards.
    • We provide a survey for students to complete after the fall kick-off assembly.
    • We give you access to the surveys and the students' individual responses can be added to their Act 339 files.
  2. TCP assists educators with fulfilling Continuing Education Credits.
    1. Educators may attend business facility tours or presentations with students or may be invited to an "Educator Only" tour./presentation.
    2. These tours may be applied to continuing education credits.
How does a school become a "School Partner"?

  1. Click one of the forms below or go to the blue box at the left and select either
    1. Request a Call
    2. School Contact Form
  2. TCP will contact you to review the program.
  3. TCP will begin to connect a business to sponsor your school.
What is the role of the School Partner?

  1. School Partners...
    1. Commit to The Challenge Program’s mission in building a partnership with your local business sponsor by engaging in the program and in workforce development activities with the business
    2. Commit to providing the time for The Challenge Program’s kick-off assembly in the fall with the business partner
    3. Commit to giving us permission to attend and present at your Senior Awards Program in the spring with the business partner
    4. Commit to selecting an educator to assist in facilitating TCP at your school. (TCP strongly recommends this educator be someone other than or in addition to the principal or director of the school)
  1. What is the role of the school's facilitator?
    1. Scheduling the kick-off assembly and Senior Awards Program with TCP
    2. Encourage students to take on the TCP challenge
    3. Respond to emails requesting information
    4. Work to assure that public announcement messaging provided by TCP is read to students
    5. Utilize TCP’s guidelines to select award recipients
    6. Submitting scheduling and the names of award recipients as requested via email
    7. Coordinating workforce development activities with TCP or the business partner
What are workforce development activities?

  1. Workforce development activities involve the business partner and a group of students and/or educators from the business's selected school/s.  An activity can take place
    1. In the classroom
    2. In the business’s facility
    3. In a related location
  2. We encourage you to visit the following TCP webpage
    1. tcpinc.org/workforce-development
How can workforce development activities help education?

  1. Workforce development activities promote
    1. Awareness of a business in the community with the next workforce generation
    2. Opportunities for internships, job shadowing, summer or full-time employment
    3. Awareness of careers in skills-gap fields
    4. Help students connect the relevance of what they are doing while in school
    5. Awareness of what employers look for when they are hiring
  2. We encourage you to visit the following TCP webpage
    1. tcpinc.org/workforce-development
Is there a cost to participating with The Challenge Program?

  1. The Business Partner financially supports TCP being an active program in schools
  2. TCP gains additional support from TCP fundraising events, and grant funding

AWARDS and PROGRAMMING

Is this a contest or scholarship?

  1. TCP is not a contest or a scholarship program.
  2. TCP is for all students in grades 10, 11, and 12, regardless of past or current grades or behavior issues
  3. We challenge each student to compete against him or herself to change or improve a habit or behavior and achieve more than they believed they could and learn more than they thought they knew to earn a cash incentive in any one or more of the five TCP award categories.
  4. The Award categories are listed and explained in the bottom blue box to the left.
Do students sign up to win something?

  1. Students do not need to sign up and they cannot "win" an award.
  2. Once a school becomes an active participating school, all students are eligible for the program.
  3. Students EARN a reward for their accomplishments. It's all up to them.
  4. TCP will award a check made out directly to the student to use as they see fit.
  5. For each of the five categories, one student per grade may earn a check.
  6. This means five students from grade 10, five students from grade 11, and five students from grade 12 will receive these awards.
How does a student earn an award?

  1. Each student must decide to challenge themselves in any or all of the categories.
  2. Each student should consider the change they may need to make to achieve their goal, perhaps with your guidance.

For example: What changes do I need to make to get to school every day?  Do I need to ask for help to improve my grades?  Where can I go to perform community service?

How are students selected for each category?

  1. The Challenge Program, Inc. provides a complete program guide each year.  You can review the most recent guide HERE.
  2. Educators review students’ work in each grade and select students who fall within the parameters of the criteria for each category. These students are referred to as ‘finalists’.
    • There may only be one student in a category, and that is fine, however, it is more likely that there will be several students for each category if the guidelines are followed.
  3. It is important to remember that TCP is not a scholarship program. TCP encourages all students, regardless of past performance, to move forward, progress towards a goal, and find something in their school-life that they can change, improve upon or excel.
  4. TCP forwards a link for a student survey. We ask that student ‘finalists’ take this survey.
  5. Educators will be forwarded survey information for the students to write down their names and the passcode at the end of the survey.
  6. "Finalists" return the slips to their educators.
  7. TCP highly recommends the use of a lottery system to select the award recipients.
  8. After the finalists have returned their slips, the slips are placed in a box or envelope for each award category. (If a student is eligible for more than one award, reuse or copy the slip. No need for a student to take the survey more than once.)
  9. To select the recipient of each award category, pull a slip from ‘the hat’.
Why does TCP recommend a lottery system?

For students to want to reach higher and achieve more, they must believe they have an equal chance.

  1. TCP's mission encourages all students, regardless of their past performance, to move forward, progress towards a goal, and find something in their school-life that they can change, improve upon or excel.
  2. A lottery system with students who already qualify as eligible for a particular category creates trust in the program.
  3. It is worthwhile repeating here that TCP is not a scholarship program.
How can I help my students?

  1. As an educator, you can encourage your students to actively commit to The Challenge Program, Inc.
  2. You may be able to help them focus on a category, or explore strategies to meet their goals.
  3. TCP may be a means to an end for a student who is struggling or experiencing difficulties in their environments.
  4. An educator selected by the school will help facilitate TCP in the school.

STUDENTS

Where do I sign up?

There is NO signing up for The Challenge Program, Inc.

Once a school is active in The Challenge Program, all students in grades 10, 11, and 12 are eligible to receive one of the five Challenge Program Awards - Attendance, STEM, Community Service, Academic Improvement, Academic Excellence.

You can review the award categories in the bottom blue box to the left.

What can I do to help my chances of receiving an award?

  1. Check-in with your guidance counselor for advice.
  2. Decide which of the award categories you would most like to earn.
  3. Once you focus on a category or categories, decide what changes you need to make to achieve the award and the cash incentive.
    1. For example, ask yourself if you are doing all that you can to be in school every day and on time. If not, make a change.
    2. Ask yourself if you are doing all that you can to achieve the best grades possible.
    3. Can you challenge yourself to take a STEM course, or give back to your community?

It all begins with you.

Who picks the winners?

  1. TCP awards are earned - not won.
  2. Click on each award category in the bottom left box to see what it takes to become a finalist in each category.
  3. We suggest these guidelines to educators to help them with the selection process. A teacher, guidance counselor, or another school official will notify you if you are a finalist.
  4. Then,  we ask educators to allow you to take a survey.  They will provide you a slip of paper to return after you have taken the survey.
  5. The Challenge Program suggests using the slips of paper in a lottery system for educators to select the award recipient.
  6. You can review, "How are students selected for each category?" and "Why does TCP use a lottery system?" under the "Awards and Programming" section above.
What is Student of the Year?

  1. The Student of the Year competition begins in January of the school year.
  2. It is a competition for any 10th, 11th, 12th-grade student in an active TCP school.
  3. It is a competition to tell The Challenge Program how TCP has affected your academics and/or your personal life.
  4. It is an opportunity to tell your story and the changes and/or behaviors you have made to earn a TCP award.
Do I need to have earned a TCP award to enter Student of the Year?

No, not at all.

You just need to be making an effort to earn a TCP award.

How do I apply for Student of the Year?

  1. The competition opens every January.
  2. Follow us on Snapchat and Instagram to get the most up to date information regarding the competition.
  3. A link will be provided to the entry form on social media, in an email to your school, printed on the Student of the Year banners.

PARENTS

What is The Challenge Program, Inc.?

The Challenge Program, Inc. (TCP) is a motivational high school program for all students in grades 10, 11, and 12, encouraging students to succeed in school and in their future careers.

TCP encourages all students, regardless of their G.P.A., to move forward, progress towards a goal, and find something in their school-life that they can change, improve upon or excel.

We are not a scholarship program.

The Challenge Program, Inc. is not intended as an avenue for college scholarships.  We are a motivational, incentive program for any student who chooses to challenge themselves in one or more areas they feel needs to change in their academic or personal life.

The financial incentives which are awarded to students are checks released to the students in their name. They are free to choose how the money is spent.  Many students report using the award money to into a savings for books, laptops, cars, tools of their chosen trades, as well as have donated all or part of their awards to a charitable cause.

Who is eligible for The Challenge Program, Inc. awards?

Any student who attends a high school or career and technology school that is actively participating in The Challenge Program, Inc., in grades 10, 11, or 12.

There is no registration or sign-up for this program.

To see if your student's school is participating in the program, visit www.tcpinc.org/school-partners 

How does The Challenge Program benefit my student?

The Challenge Program motivates and encourages students to reach higher and achieve more while they are in high school by promoting five award categories - Attendance, STEM, Community Service, Academic Improvement, and Academic Excellence.

These categories are good habits required for success in school.  They are also good habits for success in their future careers.  They are qualities that employers look for in their future employees.  Therefore, The Challenge Program connects the habits students develop in school to the habits that will help them be successful in the workplace.

The criteria for the award categories can be found in the blue box to the left.

Is there a benefit to the school?

Yes!

Local businesses sponsor The Challenge Program at schools in their communities.   They provide funding for the awards.  They also provide various activities both in and out of the classroom so educators and students can receive information about the business world, and how the award categories become an important part of success.

Over the past few years, there are have been students hired for summer, part-time and full-time work, as well as have received internships.

To view a complete list of participating schools and to see the business supporting each school visit www.tcpinc.org/business-school-partners/

 

#WhyNotMe?

#WhyNotMe?

#WhyNotMe?

  • ATTENDANCE AWARD CRITERIA:  Students with zero “0” absences.  If there are no students in a grade with zero absences, students with the least number of absences in accordance with school absentee policy become eligible for the award.

    Due to this year’s unusual circumstances, TCP defers to educators and individual school policies regarding criteria for ATTENDANCE.

    AWARD FINALISTS are all the students who meet the above criteria.  There should be more than one student.  However, if there is only one, they are still asked to take the survey (see next).

    AWARD FINALISTS are requested to take the student survey and return the Passcode Phrase that appears at the end of the survey, to their educators.  Educators may request a list of students who took the survey.   (NOTE: If a student meets the criteria of more than one award, they only need to take the survey once.)

    THE FINAL AWARD RECIPIENT is then drawn from the group of finalists who completed the online survey. 

    SENIORS compete from the 1st marking period to the end of the 3rd marking period and will receive their awards during the school’s Senior Awards programming prior to graduation.

    UNDERCLASSMEN (Juniors and Sophomores) compete from the 1st  marking period to the end of the 4th marking period and will receive their awards in the fall of the next school term.

  • STEM AWARD CRITERIA:
    #1 ranked student in a high school’s specific curriculum for science, technology, engineering, or math  (introductory, intermediate, advanced, college, or honors).
    #1 ranked student in an AVTS/CTC’s curriculum that involves science, technology, engineering or math (cosmetology, graphic arts, construction, carpentry, IT, healthcare tracks just to name a few).

    AWARD FINALISTS are all the students who meet the above criteria.  There should one student for each class offered. 

    AWARD FINALISTS are requested to take the student survey and return the Passcode Phrase that appears at the end of the survey, to their educators.  Educators may request a list of students who took the survey.   (NOTE: If a student meets the criteria of more than one award, they only need to take the survey once.)

    THE FINAL AWARD RECIPIENT is then drawn from the group of finalists who completed the online survey. 

    SENIORS compete from the 1st marking period to the end of the 3rd marking period and will receive their awards during the school’s Senior Awards programming prior to graduation.

    UNDERCLASSMEN (Juniors and Sophomores) compete from the 1st  marking period to the end of the 4th marking period and will receive their awards in the fall of the next school term.

  • COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD CRITERIA:  Students submit community service hours signed by the organization or individual for whom service was provided to the appointed faculty member. Community Service forms can be found on the RESOURCES tab of TCP’s website and are provided to distribute to students.  The forms are for the school’s convenience and are not required to be submitted to TCP.

    Due to this year’s unusual circumstances, TCP defers to educators and individual school policies regarding criteria for COMMUNITY SERVICE.
    TCP is working to post virtual ideas for Community Service to Students.

    AWARD FINALISTS should be the top 10% of students with the most hours who meet the above criteria.  There should be more than one student.  However, if there is only one, they are still asked to take the survey (see next).  The Challenge Program defers to each school’s community service policies.

    AWARD FINALISTS are requested to take the student survey and return the Passcode Phrase that appears at the end of the survey, to their educator.  Educators may request a list of students who took the survey.   (NOTE: If a student meets the criteria of more than one award, they only need to take the survey once.)

    THE FINAL AWARD RECIPIENT is then drawn from the group of finalists who completed the online survey. 

    SENIORS compete from the 1st marking period to the end of the 3rd marking period and will receive their awards during the school’s Senior Awards programming prior to graduation.

    UNDERCLASSMEN (Juniors and Sophomores) compete from the 1st  marking period to the end of the 4th marking period and will receive their awards in the fall of the next school term.

  • ACADEMIC IMPROVEMENT AWARD CRITERIA:  Upper 10% of students with the greatest increase in their G.P.A. from the previous year ending to the current year ending, regardless of their beginning G.P.A.  This award gives struggling, or disenfranchised students an opportunity to improve their habits and their grades.

    AWARD FINALISTS are all the students who meet the above criteria.  There should be more than one student.  However, if there is only one, they are still asked to take the survey (see next).

    AWARD FINALISTS are requested to take the student survey and return the Passcode Phrase that appears at the end of the survey, to their educators.  Educators may request a list of students who took the survey.   (NOTE: If a student meets the criteria of more than one award, they only need to take the survey once.)

    THE FINAL AWARD RECIPIENT is then drawn from the group of finalists who completed the online survey. 

    SENIORS compete from the 1st marking period to the end of the 3rd marking period and will receive their awards during the school’s Senior Awards programming prior to graduation.

    UNDERCLASSMEN (Juniors and Sophomores) compete from the 1st  marking period to the end of the 4th marking period and will receive their awards in the fall of the next school term.

  • ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD CRITERIA:  Students in the top 10% with the highest overall G.P.A. from the beginning to the end of the current school term.

    AWARD FINALISTS are all the students who meet the above criteria.  There should be more than one student.  However, if there is only one, they are still asked to take the survey (see next).

    AWARD FINALISTS are requested to take the student survey and return the Passcode Phrase that appears at the end of the survey, to their educators.  Educators may request a list of students who took the survey.   (NOTE: If a student meets the criteria of more than one award, they only need to take the survey once.)

    THE FINAL AWARD RECIPIENT is then drawn from the group of finalists who completed the online survey. 

    SENIORS compete from the 1st marking period to the end of the 3rd marking period and will receive their awards during the school’s Senior Awards programming prior to graduation.

    UNDERCLASSMEN (Juniors and Sophomores) compete from the 1st  marking period to the end of the 4th marking period and will receive their awards in the fall of the next school term.