About The Aspiring Scholars Program
The Aspiring Scholars Program is a Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP), formerly Educational Opportunity Program, which offers support to motivated first-year students by providing access to services and programs that prepare them for a successful transition into the college environment. The program is for Pennsylvania residents who are traditional first-year applicants and plan to begin their studies in the fall semester of any given academic year.
Consideration for admission to The Aspiring Scholars Program at Penn State Berks includes, but is not limited to, the following criteria:
- Must be a Pennsylvania resident
- Must be a traditional first-year applicant (high school graduate entering college for the first time)
- Must demonstrate financial need
- Must be a student who shows academic promise and the strong desire to achieve a college degree
- Must complete the program application and an interview with the Program Coordinator
Summer Bridge Program
The Aspiring Scholars Summer Bridge Program is a residential one-week summer bridge program designed specifically for first-year program participants. The one-week program is designed to familiarize new students with the Berks campus and surrounding area, introduce students to available resources and support services, facilitate faculty and staff introductions, and encourage friendships with peers. In this time, students will receive preparatory instruction in college success skills (e.g., time management, effective communication, and classroom etiquette) and will participate in activities that help increase confidence, encourage self-awareness, and create academic goals.
In the first year at Penn State Berks, program participants are required to enroll in Transition to College (Fall and Spring semesters) and First Year
Seminar (Fall semester) courses. The courses help students develop effective academic skills, explore majors and careers, encourage stronger
self-awareness, as well as cultivate leadership interest and ability. This is accomplished in the classroom as well as through an array of experiential
activities. Experiential activities include team building exercises, workshops, social/cultural events, community service opportunities, and trips
(e.g., leadership conferences, museum visits, etc.).
Students will earn a total of four college credits through completion of these courses. These courses are taught by the Program Coordinator.
Chi Alpha Epsilon (XAE) National Honor Society
Aspiring Scholars have the opportunity to be inducted in Chi Alpha Epsilon, a national honor society created specifically for students involved in Academic Development Programs within their university. Program participants must earn a 3.00 cumulative GPA for two consecutive semesters to be eligible, and must continue to strive toward academic excellence.
Dedicated Campus Resource Professional
The Aspiring Scholars Program Coordinator works with program participants to provide support and assistance throughout their entire college career.
Support includes but is not limited to:
- Individual academic support
- Academic advising and coaching
- Staff and peer mentoring
- Assistance with navigating and utilizing campus services
- Help with students' general concerns or needs
Aspiring Scholars activities include:
- Team building exercises
- Social and cultural events
- Academic workshops
- Community service
- Educational trips
- Leadership opportunities
Interested in the Aspiring Scholars Program?
- Please complete a Questionnaire and submit it to Alexa Hodge in addition to completing your online Admissions Application.
- If you have questions about the Aspiring Scholars Program or need assistance with the any part of the application process, please contact the Program Coordinator.
Questions regarding THE Aspiring Scholars Program
If you have questions about the program please email Alexa E. Hodge (Program Coordinator) via email at [email protected] or by phone at (610)396-6074.
More Aspiring Scholars Program Information:
Information on Scholarships and Financial Aid for Aspiring Scholars Program Students