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First Scholars Program

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First Scholars offers a certificate with an academic focus on personal, community, academic, and professional development. Courses in this program are designed to promote the social and academic integration of first generation and traditionally underrepresented students on the Westminster campus. Participants in this program receive a book award of up to $500 per semester, for four years. The program provides students with academic support, scholarship enrichment, faculty mentorship, and scholastic and professional preparation. The First Scholars Program is a collaboration between the Student Diversity and Inclusion Center, the Dumke Center for Civic Engagement, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

First Scholars Courses

First Scholars Goals

  • To gain an understanding of the strengths of personal and interpersonal cultural communication.
  • To engage in conversations of diversity and inclusion.
  • To promote the academic integration of first-generation and traditionally underrepresented students on Westminster campus.
  • Promote strong academic development.
  • Facilitate social integration of first-generation and traditionally underrepresented students on Westminster campus.
  • Bridge family and community integration.
  • Help students achieve prestigious outcomes post-graduation.
  • Promote financial literacy and forecast planning.

Program Requirements

Students must maintain good academic standing to be eligible for the $500 book award scholarship each semester. In addition to the university-wide graduation requirements, First Scholars must:

  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA
  • Attend the Summer Bridge First Scholars Program prior to their Freshman year of school
  • Complete a First Scholars cohort course every fall semester for 4 years, for a total of 4 courses
  • Maintain an 80% attendance to all mandatory First Scholars events each semester

First Scholars Certificate

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 0-6  
FIRST 100 College Success 0-2  
FIRST 200 Community-Based Learning 0-2  
FIRST 300 Accessing Developmental Opportunities 0-1  
FIRST 400 Graduation Transition 0-1  
Total Units for the First Scholars Certificate  0-6