Today I would like to talk about the Scholars Program here at Lycoming. I am currently a member of the Scholars Program, and I have really enjoyed all of the benefits and interesting things that have arisen during my time in the program.
My first experience with the Scholars Program was before I had even officially been declared a scholar. I had come down for orientation during the summer before I started school in the fall. My aunt and uncle had driven me down from Maine and they attended the dinner that I was invited to later that evening. It was quite a shindig. We met a lot of other prospective students that I would be attending school with in the fall and we learned what the Scholars Program was while we ate dinner catered by Dining Services here on campus. [This included the famous peanut butter sauce with ice cream. As a student, you will find the best part about catered meals on campus is the peanut butter sauce.]
The Scholars Program is a special offering to select students. As a Scholar, you attend a lecture at least once a week. Grades are based on attendance, so if you show up to the lecture every week for the semester, you receive an A. Each semester, the Scholars Program focuses on different themes. Some of the seminars included: Mass Incarceration, Created Equal (a seminar focused on minorities and social inequality), and our current seminar is on the presidential election, since it is quickly approaching. If none of these seminars interest you, maybe the seminar selected for the spring semester would? We are going to be discussing Star Wars.
During the semester, professors from different departments throughout Lycoming will come in and give a 30- to 45-minute-long presentation that relates to the seminar theme and their educational background. We even invite professors from other colleges and institutions to come in and guest lecture for us. Sometimes there will be evening events and lectures that we are required to attend, or readings to do before a lecture on Tuesday.
Overall, I have enjoyed my time as a scholar. I get to learn about topics not related to my own discipline, which is rather rare in college, and I get to meet other people outside of my major. During my time, there have been some amazing lectures as well some unique opportunities. Most recently, I was invited to lunch with one of our guest lecturers. (Again, catered meals!). There are some more academic benefits as well. Once you are declared a Scholar, you are able to audit one class per semester for free! This has been really useful for me since my double majors rarely allows me to take elective classes. My past audits have included an introductory course to Latin, my fourth semester of Greek, a sociology class on Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality, and next semester I will be taking Arthurian Literature.
So if you have been invited to be a Scholar and you are at all interested, I invite to take a chance and try it for yourself. You can attend seminars during your freshman year without having to declare yourself a Scholar. So try it! Maybe I’ll see in the next seminar ;)