Goals and Benefits of CCS Participation

The mission of the UNC Charlotte Community Scholars Program is to provide students with an immersive community-based research experience that strengthens the academic mission of the university, advances the public good, and addresses critical community needs. Students engage in community-based research and professional development opportunities while reflecting on the challenges and rewards of working for the public good. Students will grow in their capacities as engaged scholars, skilled employees, and democratic citizens.  The community will benefit from deeper engagement with the university in addressing critical community needs.

Benefits to Students

The UNC Charlotte Community Scholars incorporates community-based learning, internships, and undergraduate research opportunities which are recognized as high impact educational practices that increase student retention and engagement through increased investments in time and effort in academic study, experiencing diversity, interaction with peers and faculty in meaningful contexts, and the relevance of knowledge in practical or real world applications. In addition to the academic benefits, research shows that students who participate in service-learning increase outcomes related to psycho-social and moral development, efficacy, empathy, personal and social responsibility, and commitment to public service after college. Many of these characteristics are desirable workplace and civic dispositions. Students who participate in engaged scholarship and service-learning report higher satisfaction with their college experience and are more confident in their career choices. 

Community scholars may work full-time (40 hours/week) or part-time (20 or 10 hours per week), depending on the needs of the community partner where they will be placed and the availability of the student.  Full-time students will receive a stipend of $4,000 and part-time students shall receive a stipend of $2,000 respectively for the summer. 

Students cannot attend summer school while simultaneously participating in the program. Students must be enrolled in the upcoming Fall semester to be eligible to participate.

CCS Student Learning Goals

  • Civic Learning. Students will expand their understanding of the value of public and democratic institutions, the principles of public life, knowledge of how to build democratic communities, and practical knowledge and applications of working on critical community needs.
  • Professional skills.  Students will develop professional skills that enhance employability or access to graduate education. These include leadership, ability to work with diverse communities, teamwork and collaboration, and interpersonal and professional communication skills.
  • Personal characteristics. Students will develop characteristics as a result of mentoring related to academic and career success, such as goal setting, planning, project management, and follow-through.
  • Engaged Research.  Students will develop community-based research skills that may include needs assessment, program evaluation, or discipline specific and interdisciplinary knowledge applications that enhance employability or access to graduate education.
  • Cultural Competency Through Diverse Settings. Students will explore cultural assumptions and develop inclusive perspectives, resulting in the development of a sense of personal social responsibility and efficacy as community change agents.