Santa Clara University

LEAD Scholars Program

Program Requirements

As a participant in the LEAD Scholars Program we require participation in certain aspects of our program, particularly those that take place during the first year.

Before Incoming Year

Residential Learning Community Requirement (RLC)
Students living on and off campus are welcome to participate in the LEAD Scholars Program. First year students participating in the LEAD Scholars program must be a member of one of the following Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) during their first year: Unity, CyPhi, Xavier or Communitas. Commuter students while not living in the residence halls, must still be a member of one of these four designated RLCs. Transfer students living on campus are not required to live in a LEAD designated RLC. Commuter transfer students are not required to be a member of an RLC. 
New or Transfer Student Orientation
Incoming first year LEAD Scholars and their families are asked to attend New Student Orientation session 3 or session 4. Attendance at one of these two sessions is optional, but strongly preferred. At these two orientation sessions, we hold a dinner for LEAD Scholars and their families to learn more about the program and connect with involved faculty, staff and students. Students participating in sessions 1, 2, 5, or 6 will meet with a LEAD Scholars Program staff member to learn more about the program. Because LEAD Week conflicts with orientation session 7, we strongly recommend that students do not participate in session 7. If you need to participate in session 7, we will make sure that you receive information about LEAD, and a schedule that accommodates both the LEAD Week and Orientation schedules. 

Transfer students should plan to attend Transfer Orientation on the Friday before the academic year begins. 

Incoming Year

LEAD Week*

LEAD Week takes places the week before fall quarter begins. This program is a one-week program that is of no cost to student participants. First year students are introduced to the academics of Santa Clara University by beginning their English 1A class early. Transfer student either take ENGL 1A if they have not completed their introductory English requirement or LEAD 101, a college transition seminar. 

All incoming LEAD Scholars also take a one-week elective course of their choosing in such fields as Engineering, Chemistry, Business, or Religious Studies. LEAD Week also offers workshops that familiarize students with university resources and culture. Lastly, peer mentors coordinate a various team-building activities to engage students and foster community among LEAD Scholars. Click here for more information on LEAD Week.

English 1A and 2A* (Critical Thinking (CTW))

First year LEAD Scholars take the first year required courses, English 1A and 2A within the LEAD Scholars Program. Transfer students may also be required to take these course if they have not completed their introductory English requirement. These courses begin during LEAD Week and continue through fall and winter quarters of their first year. Students take English 1A and 2A with the same instructor and students. These instructors for the LEAD Scholars English 1A and 2A have been specially selected because of their interest in working with first generation college students. These two courses provide an academic foundation for students, allowing them to fulfill their Critical Thinking and Writing requirement within an academically challenging and supportive environment.

LEAD Seminar 1 and 2, and LEAD 101

In first year LEAD Scholars also take LEAD 1 and 2, the LEAD Seminars during fall and winter quarters. This is a 2 unit course that addresses students’ transition to college. In the first quarter, students explore various resources on campus and how these resources can assist them in a successful transition to college. In LEAD 2 during winter quarter, students explore campus leadership opportunities and how to take advantage of these opportunities. For example they will learn about orientation leader and community facilitator positions, and develop their resume-writing and interviewing skills.

Transfer LEAD Scholars are required to take LEAD 101 which begins during LEAD Week and continues through fall quarter. During this class students will learn about campus resources and leadership opportunities with a special focus on vocation and career. 

Participation Requirement

All first, second, third and fourth year students are also required to participate in three LEAD Scholars activities per year to maintain connections to the LEAD Scholars Program and continue their own personal and academic growth. Students can fulfill this requirement by attending or planning a LEAD event, or being a tour guide or panelist for a LEAD-sponsored tour for K-12 students. Please consult with the Assistant Director about other ways to fulfill the requirement. Those students who do not fulfill the participation requirement will have their priority registration suspended. 

* While participation in the LEAD Scholars Program is optional, once a student agrees to participate these 4 components: LEAD Week, LEAD English 1A and 2A, the LEAD Seminar 1 and 2, and fulfilling the participation requirement are mandatory. All other components of the programs are optional.


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