Community Scholars Program

The Community Scholars Program continues Earlham College’s long history of engaging students in social justice issues and organizations both locally and regionally. Our mission is to “awaken the teacher within so that our students will become life-long learners” and to “educate morally sensitive leaders for future generations.”

Each year, a new cohort of students is invited to participate in this four-year, service-based scholarship program. The engagement with our local community partners and faculty and staff on campus affords you the opportunity to develop personally, professionally and academically. We encourage you to connect your engagement with multiple areas of study in order to integrate experiential, curricular and co-curricular learning in your development. Throughout your four years, you will add tools to your toolbox, acquire hard and soft skills and be prepared for a career after college.

Through this program, you will have the opportunity to learn from theory—what is being taught in the classroom—and practice—the lived experiences of our community partners—because we see your development going hand-in-hand with community problem-solving and academic studies.

Scholarship amount

This scholarship ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 per year and is renewable for up to four years.

Eligibility

Eligible students must be accepted to and enroll at Earlham as part of the fall 2022 entering class.

Selection process

Recipients are chosen based on their demonstrated commitment to leadership and social justice work and involvement in community service work throughout high school.

Please note, no minimum GPA or SAT/ACT test scores are required, and those who were not able to be involved in community service due to family responsibilities will qualify and be equally considered. Also, a student’s immigration status will not determine acceptance into the Community Scholars Program.

Scholarship renewal criteria

To remain eligible, you must:

  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Participate in a three-day orientation with your cohort in August before you begin your first year.
  • Attend monthly training and enrichment workshops as scheduled.
  • Complete and log at least 70 hours of service per semester (approximately five hours each week) and other required paperwork.
  • Engage in reflection activities each semester.
  • Spend som of your service hours planning and carrying out a community capstone project for at least one semester during your junior or senior year and present at the EPIC Expo (a symposium of student work at Earlham).

Commitments and values

The Community Scholars Program identifies five commitments and values that represent the collective beliefs that those connected to the program encounter and explore. The program seeks to incorporate these commitments and values into everything we do.

Our commitments and values are:

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion: Respecting the different viewpoints, backgrounds, experiences and identities of people. Campus staff and students engage in ongoing training and reflection opportunities related to diversity in order to build the skills needed to be effective leaders and participants across campus and in the various communities we enter and/or belong to.
  • Social justice: Advocate for fairness and equity while addressing issues affecting marginalized communities. To further this goal, we encourage scholars to engage in discussions about race, systemic and environmental issues, and privilege. Additionally, we develop partnerships with local community organizations that work to address obstacles that hinder the upward mobility of marginalized communities.
  • Community building: Deepen partnerships in our local communities, which in turn strengthen and expand service opportunities that are of high impact. Local organizations may depend on the multi-year presence of community scholars who have historically served as the backbone of their programs. The strong partnerships between our campus and the local community allow for common interests to emerge and personal relationships to grow.
  • Environmental consciousness: Active engagement in training and reflection opportunities to learn of ways we, as a collective, can reduce the impact and damage done to the environment. Students will become aware how their actions contribute to climate justice and how people are impacted differently.
  • Personal exploration: Each individual will have the opportunity to search and find their own identity and gain understanding of their abilities, passions and interests, and one’s self.

More information and resources

Earlham is a community like no other. Our students and faculty are partners in learning, seeking truth wherever truth may lead. Learn more about Earlham at the links below.

Next steps