The Pioneer Scholars Program began in the fall of 2008 as the result of the Wal Mart College Success Award. In 2010 Bellarmine University institutionalized the Pioneer Program and it has continued to grow and advance opportunities for first generation students. Lindsey Peetz-Murray was hired as the First Generation Advisor and director of the program. Amy Siegel, Sophomore Advisor, will work with the Pioneer program as well.
Since the inception of the program, students involved have reported that they enjoy the program and feel more confident about their resources and their network on campus. The average freshman GPA of participating Pioneer Scholars has consistently been higher than that of the freshman class a whole. Additionally, the students involved have been retained at a remarkably high rate as a result of participation in the program.