Program FAQs

What are the components of the CLA-PES First Year Experience?

The President's Emerging Scholars Program within CLA admits a learning community of 200 - 225 freshmen. The first-year curriculum is characterized by innovative teaching methods, small classes, personal attention, peer mentoring, connecting students to engagement opportunities, and other features designed to support and encourage success.

Students also gain access to reserved seats high-demand freshman courses such as "Introduction to Psychology," "University Writing," and "Introduction to Public Speaking." (Specific course offerings will be shared at Orientation and are subject to change based upon enrollment and seat availability)

Students will have the option to attend a FREE 5-Day Summer Seminar on-campus focused on learning digital storytelling and building community through connecting with PES students and peer mentors. Students will be required to attend summer orientation, Welcome Week, and the Undergraduate Opportunity Conference as a part of their first-year experience.

Overall, in the first-year experience PES students benefit from a program based upon "high-impact" practices that research indicates to contribute to student retention and graduation. These practices include a learning community model, and a first year course experience seminar (CLA 1005 and CLA 2005), frequent advising and peer mentoring meeting (2 times per semester), a student lounge and computer lab (which includes 7 free pages of printing per day).

What are the components of the CLA PES during year's 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year?

  • Peer Mentoring through the 2nd year
  • Academic Advising support all 4 years
  • Attend the Undergraduate Opportunity Conference held every Fall
  • Students will complete 3 high impact (internships, on-campus work, research, learning abroad, etc) engagement activities over 4 years
  • Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA
  • Student must submit a PES Plan each year to the central PES Program Office

If I was admitted to CLA President's Emerging Scholars, am I required to participate?

Yes, your admissions to the College of Liberal Arts is contingent upon you participation of the President's Emerging Scholars in all programmatic elements. Students will participate from 1 of 10 learning communities chosen at orientation to maximize their success during the freshman year. Students will work closely with their academic advisor throughout your first year and have the option to continue to use the CLA President's Emerging Scholars academic advisor for all 4 years of college. The CLA President's Emerging Scholars Office serves all majors in the College of Liberal Arts.

How was I selected to be a part of CLA President's Emerging Scholars?

The Office of Admissions identifies and selects students to be placed in the CLA President's Emerging Scholars program. Admission decisions are based on an individual, overall assessment of the primary and secondary factors included in each student's application. The primary and secondary review factors take into consideration each student's academic preparation and personal characteristics and circumstances within the context of the opportunities and/or challenges the applicant has had.

What is a typical first year curriculum for students in CLA President's Emerging Scholars?

Students in CLA President's Emerging Scholars will register for class during the summer at Freshman Orientation. In consultation with an Academic Advisor, students will develop a schedule based upon their academic goals, credits obtained from PSEO, College In the Schools, and AP or IB tests, and within the guidelines of the PES Learning Community options.

Sample PES Schedule:

Fall term:

1) CLA 1005 - Introduction to Liberal Arts Learning - 3 credits
2) WRIT 1301 - University Writing (fulfills Freshman composition requirement) - 4 credits
3) GEOG 1403 - Biogeography of the Global Garden (fulfills Biological Science w/lab; Environment theme) - 4 credits
4) SPAN 1022 - Second Semester Spanish (fulfills CLA Language Requirement) - 5 credits
TOTAL - 16 credits

Spring term:

1) CLA 2005 - Global Inequality and Transformative Citizenship - 3 credits
2) HIST 1302W - Global America: U.S. History Since 1865 (fulfills Diversity and Soc. Justice in the U.S.; Historical Perspectives; Writing Intensive) - 4 credits
3) SPAN 1003 - Intermediate Spanish -(fulfills CLA Language Requirement) - 5 credits
4) Elective - students choose another 3-4 credit course in consultation with an advisor
TOTAL - 15 to 16 credits

What are CLA 1005 and CLA 2005?

CLA 1005 and CLA 2005 are First-Year Experience courses designed especially for the PES program. The courses meet 2 times per week. Once per week in a large group session and once per week in a small group discussion format.