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Presidential Scholars Program

Success Ready

The Montclair State advantage is now even stronger.

Leveraging its resources as a national doctoral research university, in 2018 Montclair State launched an exciting new program for high-achieving New Jersey high school graduates. Since 2018, the University’s new Presidential Scholars Program has given accomplished, motivated students the added challenge of special academic and career preparation opportunities, and the added support of a $5,000 scholarship for each of their four years of study.

The Presidential Scholars Program is designed to identify and cultivate New Jersey’s high-achieving students and to help them make the most of their undergraduate experience. Throughout their four years of study, Presidential Scholars will participate in academic, cultural, professional development, research-driven, and career-focused programs and activities that take the college experience to the next level and prepare them to be competitive candidates in their next step after graduation – whether that’s graduate school or the workforce.

The Presidential Scholars Program was created to help New Jersey’s high-achieving students embody what it means to be a scholar at an institution and grow as an individual. Throughout their four years of study, Presidential Scholars will participate in academic, cultural, professional development, research-driven, and career-focused programs and activities that take the college experience to the next level and prepare them to be competitive candidates in their next step after graduation – whether that’s graduate school or the workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions: For Presidential Scholars and Their Families

What is the Presidential Scholars Program?

The Presidential Scholars Program is a recognition of students’ hard work, dedication, progression, and academic success. In addition to the $5,000/year scholarship award, this program is designed to guide students through high-impact career and academic preparation experiences that will make employers and graduate schools take note. Each year, Presidential Scholars will have the opportunity to participate in high-quality experiences that build on the ones from previous terms.

Why do students choose the Presidential Scholars Program at Montclair State University?

It’s a comprehensive, guided approach to enhancing their education and helping them make the most of their college experience. The opportunities students have as Presidential Scholars make them more marketable, more academically prepared, and well-rounded citizens of our global world. The Program is an integrated community of high-achieving students who will create a network of connections, relationships, and friendships that will extend far beyond the campus boundaries.

What’s more, this community is exclusive. A small portion of the incoming class is invited to become a Presidential Scholar.

What types of experiences will be available to students?

The Presidential Scholars Program selects meaningful experiences—many of which students don’t typically discover for themselves until junior and senior year—and introduces them to Presidential Scholars early. Some of the experiences that will be available in Year One of the program include:

  • The Presidential Scholars Common Book
    To create an engaged community of Scholars, each participant in the program will read the Common Book. This book is discussed and analyzed in the New Student Seminar and First Year Writing course and featured prominently throughout the year’s activities. The Common Book is distributed at Orientation and at Red Hawk Day.
  • Common Course Experiences
    Presidential Scholars will be enrolled in specialized sections of the New Student Seminar and College Writing I within their college or school. Taking courses together will allow Presidential Scholars to develop deeper relationships with one another as well as enhance their intellectual environment and critical thinking skills.
  • Career Development Plan
    We know Presidential Scholars are a focused, driven group of students, so they will have unique access to Career Services professionals who will work with them to develop comprehensive, four-year career development plans starting on Day 1. These plans will help students map out actions, experiences, and next-steps that build upon each other to prepare them to be competitive applicants in the job market upon graduation.
  • Leadership Development Certificate Program
    Besides enhancing students’ resumes, the Leadership Development Certificate Program (LDCP) was designed to provide students with both personal and professional development opportunities. There are four tiers to the program; each year a student participates in the program represents a tier. After completing each tier, the student receives a certificate demonstrating their mastery of the competencies they’ve learned.Through the Leadership Development Certificate Program, students learn:

    • To communicate effectively with peers and professionals
    • To think critically through self-reflective journals
    • To set and work towards a goal each semester with peer feedback
    • To foster an open-minded approach to understanding and appreciating diversity
    • To engage with the Montclair State University community
    • The importance of continuous character development and learning
  • Faculty & Expert Lecture Series
    Our high-achieving Presidential Scholars will have the opportunity to deepen their learning through a series of lectures and discussions led by faculty and experts from beyond the university. The series focuses on complex, real-world problems and encourages students to think about innovative solutions. This year’s fall lecture series will focus on issues related to climate change, as highlighted in the Common Read.
  • The Presidential Scholars Dinner
    Before the start of their first semester, Presidential Scholars are invited to meet Dr. Susan A. Cole, President of Montclair State University, deans, faculty and students to learn more about the program, and hear from a panel of Montclair State alumni.

Requirements of the Program

Students must take part in the diverse and inclusive learning communities in the courses they’ll take. Students are expected to reach academic excellence and find their identity through their undergraduate experiences. These programs, activities, and courses were designed to help prepare students for their next level as they prepare for the workforce or a secondary degree. The Presidential Scholars Program carries a 3.0 cumulative GPA requirement to continue receiving the scholarship over a period of eight continuous semesters as a full-time student. Additionally, students must attend the following programs in which they will receive badges and completion through the Suitable platform.

Students must attend the Research Symposium, arts programs, professional development workshops and seminars, leadership opportunities, orientation, meeting with Career Advisor and obtaining badges on the Suitable platform. By utilizing the career development plan and program there will be a variety of experience which students can participate in which will help them achieve success in their scholastic journey.