Principal Community Scholars

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The Principal Community Scholars Program is a collaboration between Principal and Campus Compact that supports the leadership development of undergraduate students seeking a business or business-related degree. The curriculum and project help students develop critical skills for their careers.

Students are selected through a competitive process to receive a $1,000 scholarship, participate in a civic leadership learning community and complete a community-based experiential learning project.

Last year, 20 students were selected and reported improved student leadership skills, confidence, and efficacy to help them to see themselves as community leaders.

  • 90% of scholars felt they were more aware of how to help their community
  • 95% felt they were more likely to create positive change in their community

Selected students also accomplished successful projects to address a community priority, including STEM research, establishing a food pantry, social entrepreneurship ventures, and sustainability initiatives among other things. We were delighted by the projects students completed and invite you to view reflection videos they created.

In the second year of the program, we are expanding and focusing by allowing students to apply from Campus Compact member institutions in selected Midwest states (IA, MN, MO, NE, SD, WI, and IL) and students attending minority-serving Campus Compact member institutions in other parts of the country.

Students must be majoring in business or a related field (see the application for a full list) and must be nominated by a faculty or staff member from their institution who is willing to serve as an advisor on their project. The selection process will prioritize supporting students from diverse backgrounds and those with fewer resources to finance their education.

The program is sponsored by Principal, a global financial services company based in Des Moines, Iowa with locations throughout the United States and around the world. Principal is focused on investing in communities and encourages employees to get involved.

2017-2018 nominations are due October 27, 2017. See below for more information!

August 30, 2017                Nomination process opened

October 6, 2017                Nomination priority deadline

October 13, 2017             Priority scholars are notified

October 27, 2017             Second nomination deadline

November 3-4, 2017        Scholars are invited to participate in the Iowa Civic Action Academy in Des Moines, Iowa

November 10, 2017         Mandatory virtual retreat and orientation for selected scholars from 1-3 pm

Spring 2018                         Scholars complete their projects and join in optional training sessions and other opportunities

May 4, 2018                        Project reports and video due (must be received to release scholarship funds)

May 9, 2018                       Scholars honored at the Engaged Campus Awards and Summit in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Scholar nominations will be reviewed by based on the following criteria:

Scholar Expectations

The Principal Community Scholars Program is administered by Iowa Campus Compact and funded by Principal. It offers students the opportunity to collaborate with peers and receive support for leading a community-engaged project on their campus. Students participate in a virtual retreat, lead a project, and are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship. In order to receive the scholarship, each scholar must complete the following expectations:

Attend and fully participate in the virtual network retreat scheduled for November 10, 2017.

Full participation includes being on camera (if possible) for the entire retreat and actively participating in small group discussions. The meeting will take place from 12 pm to 2 pm central time.

Plan and implement the project outlined in the nomination proposal.

This project may change over the course of the semester. Please keep us informed of any major shifts. Please also keep us informed of successes, and send pictures or anything else that would help us to promote your work.

Meet regularly with your Program Advisor (staff or faculty member on campus).

This advisor is there to help you with ongoing support and guidance on how you can best impact social change and can help facilitate connections with key offices and individuals.

Submit a final program package by May 4, 2018. This includes:

  • A short (no more than 3 minute) video on your project
  • Upload a thank you letter to our funder, Principal
  • A brief post-participation survey
  • Final paperwork

Advisor Expectations

Scholar nominations will only be considered if the come from a faculty or staff member who is willing to serve in an advisor role on the students’ community engagement project. Advisors will be included on all communications about the program to help them effectively support the student.

Advising also includes:

  • Meeting regularly with the student to help them stay on track with their project
  • Helping the student navigate campus and community structures and helping to ensure that their project meaningfully meets community needs
  • Helping the student develop a sustainability plan for their project

Advisors are not expected to complete any paperwork or attend any of the meetings of the cohort and are invited to seek support from Iowa Campus Compact staff as needed.

When are nominations due?

A priority deadline has already passed and those nominations are being reviewed. There is a second deadline on October 27, 2017. All nominees will be notified by November 6.

Can institutions nominate more than one student?

Students must be nominated individually, but each must be for a different student.  The Program Advisor may be the same for each or may vary. No more than three scholars per institution will be selected.

I am an interested student, how do I apply?

The selection process for this program involves students being nominated by a faculty or staff member willing to serve as an advisor. Find an advisor on your campus and ask them to work with you on a nomination!

What if my institution is not a member of Campus Compact?

Unfortunately, this opportunity is limited to member institutions, but we hope you’ll join! Contact the director in your state or region for more information.

Can a student be nominated to continue work on an existing project?

Yes, community projects do not have to be “new” to qualify. This scholarship can build on existing student work through other organizations and commitments.

I am not majoring in business or a related field, can I still be nominated?

This program is designed to support business students and therefore only students in those fields are eligible. If you have a student with a major not on the list and want to make the case, please contact Emily Shields at eshields {at} iwcc(.)edu.

Are there any in person events or travel requirements?

No, the November 10th retreat is virtual and other communications and connections points are also electronic.

Is there any match requirement?

No, this is not a grant program and there is no match requirement.

How will the scholarship payment be made?

Scholarship payments will be made directly to students and may be used for tuition or other education-related expenses.