Coles College of Business Scholars Program: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders

Dr. Stacy Campbell
Dr. Stacy Campbell

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 9, 2017) — The Coles College Scholars Program provides a unique and challenging, cohort-based two-year program to some of the most highly motivated undergraduate students in the college.

Every year a new cohort of scholars is selected to start the program as another one gets ready to complete the program and graduate. The rigorous selection process for the Scholars Program is designed to identify students who have the greatest potential to develop within the Program and to contribute to the Program and the external business community. Thus, while GPA is important in that students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 to apply, after meeting this criterion, other factors including an interview with the Scholars Committee are considered. Upon acceptance to the program, the students begin an organized leadership development process beginning with various personal assessment tools and learning through interaction with local business leaders. Prior to their first semester, the students kick off the program with an off-site retreat which provides the new scholars with an exciting environment to bond and to set expectations for the next two years. The benefits of the cohort structure become evident at the retreat as scholars transform into interactive team members ready to start this unique experience together.

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"The Scholars Program taught me outstanding interpersonal communication skills that have allowed me to seamlessly and successfully blend with teams and clients from very diverse background and culture."

Jerry Vieux, Cohort 1, KSU Grad ‘16
EY Risk Advisory, Assurance Associate II

“The Scholars Program changed my life in more ways than I can count. It equipped me with the skills I needed to be successful in my internship roles, strengthened my love of learning both inside and outside of the classroom, and ultimately prepared me for the graduate studies that I am pursuing now.”

Erica Moody, Cohort 2, KSU Grad ‘17
Behavioral Economics Program, Nottingham, UK (Fulbright scholarship)

The program consists of five courses: Applied Leadership in Business, Critical Thinking and Decision-Making, International Immersion, Consulting and Change Management, and Business Intelligence. The Program Director, faculty across the disciplines, and an Advisory Board member, work as a team to develop and deliver course content, although each course has a designated lead instructor for the three-hour class period. Guest speakers from industry and academia, company visits and interviews with top-level executives, actual consulting projects with local companies, an international service-learning project in Guatemala, and required networking activities are built into the curriculum.

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"When people ask me how I know if the Scholars Program is working, I can always point to the amazing jobs these students are getting or the grad schools they are attending.  But most of all, I can see the change in the students from their first team building experience at the retreat to the Guatemala trip to the consulting and business intelligence projects they work on. Their growth is evident in the way they communicate, present themselves, and the way they think about and approach business problems.  That's how I know the program is having an impact," says Dr. Stacy Campbell, Executive Director of the Scholars Program. "Of course when the grandfather of a scholar comes up to you at graduation and gives you a big hug and thanks you for what the Scholars Program has done for his grandson...well that is a good indication as well."

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