Thank you for your interest in the LEAD Scholars Program! The LEAD Scholars Program is a program for first-generation college students (students whose parents did not graduate from a 4-year college or university) focused on academic success and community engagement. The LEAD Scholars Program provides academic and vocational development opportunities, holistic advising, peer mentoring, and community building through a variety of courses, programs, and support networks.
For most students, participation in the LEAD Scholars Program begins in their first year at SCU to ensure a smooth transition into SCU from their previous high school or higher education institution. The program continues through senior year by supporting students' vocational development and connecting them to internships, study abroad, graduate school and leadership opportunities.
All admitted first-generation college students are informed about the program soon after they are admitted to the university, and are asked to indicate their interest. Based on this information, students are then selected keeping in mind the goal to create a diverse community in terms of backgrounds and experiences.
Students who are first-generation college students who are already attending SCU, can also participate in the LEAD Scholars Program by entering at Level 2 through a short application process.
If you are a first-generation college student, and will be or are currently attending SCU, and would like to find out more information about the program or would like to express your interest in the program, please contact us at 408-554-4439.
Thank you for your Day of Giving Support!
Thank you to everyone who supported LEAD during SCU's Day of Giving! On March 8th, 63 alumni, parents and friends donated $4650 to support LEAD's Microgrant and Fellowships Program which help students with basic living and educational needs, and participation in high-impact co-curricular activities like unpaid internships, undergraduate research and study abroad. If you'd like to make a gift to our Microgrant and Fellowships Program go to our Support LEAD link.
A Generous Gift from the Koret Foundation
A generous $1.5 million grant from the Koret Foundation awarded in spring 2016 will enable the LEAD Scholars Program to:
- Increase the number of first-year LEAD Scholars from 60 to 105 incrementally over 3 years beginning in 2017-2018
- Create year-round peer and alumni mentoring programs
- Establish a Koret Fellows program to financially support high impact co-curricular opportunities, including undergraduate research, unpaid internships, community-based learning, study abroad, and summer school courses
- Provide a special assistance fund to support students with emergency and basic living expenses
- Offer seminar courses that focus on vocation and career development
- Hire 1.5 additional professional staff including an Assistant Director and administrative support
- Collaborate with the College of Arts and Sciences to provide STEM retention programming
To learn more about the Koret Foundation's gift, please read the press release.
Generosity of the Mexican Consulate
The LEAD Scholars Program received its third grant from the Mexican Consulate's IME Becas Fund in fall 2016. This $16,000 grant will enable the LEAD Scholars Program to fund students of Mexican descent to engage in high impact co-curricular activities over the summer including undergraduate research, unpaid internships, community-based learning, study abroad, and summer school courses.
The LEAD Scholars Program was established in 2003 as a component of a university-wide grant initiative to build a more inclusive community. Supported by the James Irvine Foundation, we sought ways to enhance our support of underrepresented students including first generation college students and students of color. The success of the LEAD Program in supporting and engaging students and their families was immediately evident. A major component of this program was the Bridge Program which brought students on campus early to introduce them to the academic and campus life of Santa Clara University.
The program was funded by the James Irvine Foundation until 2007 and since then, it has been funded by the Office of the Provost. Now, established within the institutional structure of the university, the LEAD Program is known as the LEAD Scholars Program, and the Bridge Program is called LEAD Week.
The program is constantly working to improve the resources available to the students. Over the past ten years we have increased the number of LEAD Week participants from 30 to 60, and in 2012 we added a transfer student component that includes an additional 15 students. Further expansion is being funded by an exciting grant from the Koret Foundation that will enable us to grow the number of students we serve as well as the programming that we offer to second, third and fourth year students.