Arcadia University Civic Scholars
Incoming Civic Scholars participate in Arcadia START (Students Taking Active Responsibility Together), a 3-day orientation program just before Welcome Week to introduce them to the local community and to Arcadia’s opportunities for community service and advocacy.
First Year Seminar
Civic Scholars have access to a first year seminar designed especially for them. The course includes special events like dinner with the University president and guest lectures from local change-makers.
Specialized Mentorship and Advising
Throughout their time at Arcadia, Civic Scholars will have the encouragement and advice of the Director of the Office of Social Impact and Innovation, Dr. Alison LaLond Wyant. Alison has advised hundreds of high-achieving students as they chart their course through their degree paths towards lives of purpose.
Community Building and Peer-to-Peer Leadership
Civic Scholars co-create the community for their program, with plans for the inaugural class to have a hand in shaping and leading future classes’ pre-orientation programs, and designing a living-learning residential community for the program, for example.
Internships for Social Impact
During one semester or summer, typically in the junior year, Civic Scholars engage in an internship for at least 140 hours with an organization geared toward social impact. Program staff, the Office of Career Education, and the Office of Study Away help students find placements locally or in one of Arcadia’s host cities overseas — in municipalities, non-profit organizations, government offices, social enterprises, or legislators’ offices — and frame the experience with critical reflection.
Social Innovation Incubator
The inaugural class of juniors and seniors in the program will co-create and lead a Social Innovation Incubator program for Arcadia stakeholders to develop their ideas for social progress.
Civic Scholars fulfill their program requirements by participating in at least six relevant opportunities before their final semester, with at least one from each of the following three categories:
Learning Beyond the Traditional Classroom
- First-Year Seminar designed for Civic Scholars
- Course connected to a community-based organization
- Academic internship course with a placement in a non-profit or governmental organization (local or global)
- Capstone project with a focus or theme related to civic engagement or social impact
- Relevant study abroad experience
Building with Community
- Arcadia START (Students Taking Active Responsibility Together), a pre-orientation program for students to move in early and get the work started
- Social Justice & Civic Action Residential Community
- Three or more local/regional activities offered through Civic & Global Engagement (Philadelphia trip, Service Day, Washington, DC Trip, etc.)
Becoming a Change Agent
- Leadership position in one of the following 1) a club related to public service, community outreach, marginalized identities, etc. 2) Civic & Global Engagement House Steering Committee 3) Social Justice & Civic Action Residential Community or 4) Arcadia Votes
- At least 2 trainings related to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
- Interning at a public service site (non-profit organizations, schools, municipal offices, legislator’s office, etc.)
- At least one full semester of Community-Based Student Employment (including Federal Work-Study opportunities in local schools, local social service organizations, regional non-profits, etc.)
Application & Admission
In your application, you will be asked to include a 300-500 word essay about what piqued your interest in social change and why are you interested in being an Arcadia Civic Scholar?