CLA PES Program FAQs

PES Program

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 this is also known as holistic review. PES is not an at risk program, it is equity centered. 

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.

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?

  • Students enroll in CLA 3002 Career Kickstarter: Finding Internships and Other Career-Related Experiences during the 2nd year
    • Optionally, as part of the CLA 3002 experience, students can complete a 1 week Industry based project for a local organization to learn about an industry, gain experience and receive a $600 scholarship during the 2022-2023 academic year (winter break, spring break or May term)
  • 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
  • Students must submit a PES Plan each year to the central PES Program Office


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.

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.

What is CLA 3002 Career Kickstarter: Finding Internships and Other Career-Related Experiences?

The course guides you through how to search for an internship, research opportunities, and other career-related experiences.  Students will receive support in creating the application materials needed for success. 

Similar to other colleges, CLA has an expectation that PES second-year students take this course either fall or spring semester.  This course has a first-generation focus and expands the ecosystem of support for PES students and provides unique access to the college's employer and alumni networks.  

  • Satisfies upper-division outside the major
  • CLA 3002 counts as one PES high impact practice (PES students need 3 high impact practices to earn the PES scholarship) 
  • The course counts as step 2 of 5 toward the Career Readiness Certificate while participating in an internship or research opportunity counts as step 3 of 5. (Your PES FYE classes are step 1 toward the Career Readiness Certificate)
    • The Career Readiness Certificate will be on your transcript and is an impressive addition to your resume
  • Aligns with the University Second Year Experience helping second-year students make the most of their experience
  • Connects students to Industry-Based Projects offered during winter break, spring break, and May term. Students can complete one-week projects to gain experience in a career field of interest and be awarded a $600 scholarship for their time, knowledge, and contributions to a local organization. 
  • Connects students to internship scholarships offered through CLA Career Services