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What is The EPIC Advantage?

Earlham is one of only a handful of colleges and universities in the United States to offer funded internships and research experiences to all students. These opportunities take place during a summer after a student's first year and prior to graduation, and funding may include travel expenses. The program is a key component of the Earlham Plan for Integrative Collaboration (EPIC) and is a permanent feature of the Earlham Experience.

About the Donors

The EPIC Advantage is powered by a $7.5 million leadership gift from Alan ’74 and Peg Kral Scantland ’74, of Columbus, Ohio. The Scantlands have chosen to honor these life-changing experiences through their philanthropy. Their gift is to be used for personalized vocational mentoring, career-discerning internships and highly-focused student research projects.

After graduating from Earlham, Peg wrote and edited elementary and high school textbooks, worked as an adult literacy tutor and stayed home to raise their children, Pete, Matt and Susan Scantland Littleton ’05.

Alan earned his master’s degree in agricultural economics, a key integration point of science and the business world, from The Ohio State University in 1976 and was hired by Battelle as an agricultural economist. He later held positions in the prescription services industry with Express-Med and Member Health. In 2009, Alan joined cofounders Matt Scantland (son) and Sam Rajan to launch CoverMyMeds (CMM) – an innovative healthcare IT company.

CoverMyMeds, based in Columbus, Ohio, is the leader in electronic prior authorization for prescription drugs, providing physicians and pharmacists with tools to help millions of patients per month maneuver through healthcare paperwork to get prescribed medications easily and quickly.

Through CoverMyMeds, the Scantlands’ wish was “to create a fast-growing profitable company that served a social good and produced best in-class product in a non-bureaucratic environment where both customers and employees were trusted and treated as we do our families.”

The Scantlands’ gift is the largest alumni gift in the College’s history, and the largest single gift Earlham has received since Eli Lilly’s “Magnificent Gift” of $25 million in 1973.

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How Does It Work?

Earlham provides all interested students access to The EPIC Advantage. While this opportunity can easily be tailored to the interests and needs of individual students, the program is designed to support highly focused internship, research, and community-based project opportunities. The College is committed to providing students with choice of opportunities locally, across the United States, and in other countries. Earlham will also provide expert advising to help students secure appropriate placements related to the students’ academic interests and career aspirations.

  1. What is EPIC Advantage and when can students do it?

    The EPIC Advantage (EA) provides every student financial support for one research, project or internship experience in the summer anytime between their first year and fourth year (graduation).

  2. Are these processes, procedures and implementation structures permanent?

    No. In order to implement this for the 2017-18 academic year, the College had to move quickly. The structures and procedures in place now will carry Earlham through this first “beta test” year. The College will re-visit and revise for 2018-19 and beyond. Your continual feedback is appreciated.

  3. What is the basic timeline for implementation?

    EA-designated research and project experiences are approved for 2018. Applications will be available to students from October 15, 2017, to November 6, 2017. Students will learn whether or not they have been accepted for an EPIC Advantage research or project experience by the Monday after Fall Break — November 27, 2017.

    For internships, students may apply for funding starting on the Monday following Fall Break. Applications will continue to be accepted during the spring semester. Check online for the closing dates for applying for internship funding.

  4. What does the application process look like?

    For research and projects, faculty organize and advertise summer experiences to students who then apply for these through Handshake (similar to summer research and off-campus May Term procedures).

    For internships, students may work with Career Coaches in the CCE to find, apply for, and receive an internship offer. Once they have acquired a qualifying internship, students prepare a budget and apply for funding. These applications are reviewed by faculty in the CCE (non-competitively) and, once approved, checks will be distributed directly to the student.

  5. How is EA different from Summer Research and Off-campus May Terms?

    There is overlap between these experiences. EA is not big enough to support all forms of collaborative student faculty research and off-campus May Terms. Faculty have expressed a desire to be able to offer multiple experiences for students.

    For this beta test year, working with the various faculty leaders, previously approved 2018 off-campus May Terms have been converted to EPIC Advantage experiences. Earlham is still consulting and discussing whether or not (and how) some May Terms could qualify as an EA in the future (2019 and beyond).

    The College's usual summer collaborative research opportunities for students will be available in 2018, in addition to EPIC Advantage experiences.

  6. Can EAs count for credit?

    Internships within academic majors will carry credit from the department/program. Non-departmental internships managed through the Center for Career and Community Engagement may carry one credit.

    For the summer of 2018, EA project and research experiences will not carry academic credit.

  7. How much money does each student get?

    For research and projects, students do not receive any money. Instead, they receive an all-expenses-paid research or project experience led by a faculty member. Faculty can develop a budget for the research or project within the general guidelines of spending $3,500 - $6,000 per student.

    For internships, students are funded according to a budget they prepare and will generally receive between $3,000 and $5,000.

  8. How long will the funding last?

    The leadership gift given by Alan and Peggy Scantland allows Earlham to launch this program immediately for maximum effect while providing time to build a sustainable endowed fund for the future. Work is already underway to build upon this generous gift and the College is confident it will be able to endow this program for the foreseeable future.

  9. Are there any other major changes?

    Yes. a) Current seniors will now be allowed to participate on summer 2018 EPIC Advantage research and project experiences. b) Any student may elect to pay the program fee in lieu of using their EPIC Advantage, if they would like to participate on 2018 EA research or project experiences.

  10. Who do I speak with if I have ideas, questions and/or feedback?

    Marya Bower, Patty Lamson and Jay Roberts are currently serving as the implementation team for EPIC Advantage. Please feel free to contact any one of them – they are happy to listen and speak with individuals, departments, programs, divisions and units about the EPIC Advantage program.