Frequently Asked Questions – PROMISE Program

The Providing Opportunities for Math and Science Enrichment (PROMISE) Program addresses the unique challenges of culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse (CLED) students who have interest in STEM education by providing academic enrichment programming at low to no cost. This grant-funded program is designed to support Black or African American students, Latinx students, students who qualify for the national free or reduced-price meal program, as well as students residing in a rural Illinois county.

PROMISE provides students an opportunity to experience a curriculum that increases interest and skills in math and science. Additionally, participants work with IMSA faculty, staff, and student tutors while exploring IMSA’s unique learning laboratory. Highlights of participation include exposure to a curriculum that increases knowledge and skills in math and science, hands-on interactive learning, personal skills development and more!

Programs serve students enrolled in 7th, 8th, and 9th grade. We encourage students who are Black or African American, Latinx, students who qualify for the national free or reduced-price meal program, as well as students residing in an Illinois rural county to apply. The application is open to all students, but the priority is to serve students who meet one of the above listed markers. If you have questions about eligibility contact

The PROMISE Program consists of three grade-based experiences:

    1. Leading Students 2 Success (LS2S) is for students enrolled in the 7th and 8th grade. The program takes place in the Spring during the school year, typically February - April over the course of 8 sessions on Saturdays. Applications are typically available each Fall. 
    2. Summer Enrichment in Academics in Mathematics and Science (SEAMS) is for students who successfully completed 8th grade. The program takes place in the summer between 8th and 9th grade. Applications are typically available in March of each year. SEAMS is a residential program that requires students to stay on campus for the duration of 10 consecutive days. 
    3. Early Involvement Program (EIP) is for students enrolled in the 9th grade. The program takes place in the fall during the school year, typically September - December over the course of 10 sessions on Saturdays. Applications are typically available in August of each year.

Applications will be electronic and posted when available on the PROMISE homepage. The following components must be submitted via the online application by the deadline in order to be eligible for consideration: 

    • Online application: Demographic and school information, list of participation in any special academic programs, and response to two brief essay prompts. 
    • One teacher evaluation from a Math OR Science Teacher 
    • School Counselor Form which includes a request for grade reports

A student can participate in one or all of the PROMISE Programs. Each program cycle allows interested or returning students to submit an application for consideration. 

Students currently participating in LS2S 8th grade and/or the SEAMS program(s) have an opportunity to be promoted to the next program based on their performance. Performance is evaluated based on academic skill and behaviors that are important to success as an IMSA student. Any participant who does not receive a promotion to the next program is still welcome to apply for admission to that program.

No. Students interested in attending IMSA must submit a separate application for admission. PROMISE Programs are a great way to determine if IMSA is the place for them. Any feedback gathered during SEAMS and/or EIP becomes a part of their admissions application, but is reviewed in conjunction with all of the other required pieces of your IMSA application. For more information on the IMSA application process, please click here: Apply to IMSA

No. It is our hope that through the PROMISE Program experience(s) we fulfill our mission of increasing the number of CLED students in STEM fields and in turn may also learn about IMSA to determine if it would be a good choice for them.

There is no fee to participate in the school year programs (LS2S and EIP) but there is a nominal fee for the residential program (SEAMS). IMSA is largely funded by the State of Illinois, providing support for on-campus and statewide programs. Additional support is provided by various grants and donations. Therefore, scholarships can be provided to students demonstrating a financial need.