Principal Community Scholars

The Principal Community Scholars Program is a collaboration between Principal and Campus Compact that supports the leadership development of undergraduate students seeking a business or business-related degree. Students are selected through a competitive process to receive a $1,000 scholarship and complete a civic leadership curriculum and a community-based experiential learning project. The curriculum and project help students develop critical skills for their careers.

In its inaugural year in the spring of 2017, the program was piloted in partnership between Iowa and California Campus Compacts. 20 students were selected and reported improved student leadership skills, confidence, and efficacy to help them to see themselves as community leaders. 90% of scholars felt they were more aware of how to help their community and 95% felt they were more likely to create positive change in their community.  The selected students also accomplished successful projects to address a community priority, including STEM research, establishing a food pantry, social entrepreneurship ventures, and sustainability initiatives among other things. We were delighted by the projects students completed and invite you to view reflection videos they created.

In the second year of the program, we are expanding and focusing by allowing students to apply from Campus Compact member institutions in selected Midwest states (IA, MN, MO, NE, SD, WI, and IL) and students attending minority-serving Campus Compact member institutions in other parts of the country. Students must be majoring in business or a related field (see the application for a full list) and must be nominated by a faculty or staff member from their institution who is willing to serve as an advisor on their project. The selection process will prioritize supporting students from diverse backgrounds and those with fewer resources to finance their education.

The program is sponsored by Principal, a global financial services company based in Des Moines, Iowa with locations throughout the United States and around the world. Principal is focused on investing in communities and encourages employees to get involved.

2017-2018 nominations are due October 6, 2017. See below for more information!

August 30, 2017                Nomination process opened

October 6, 2017                Nominations due

October 13, 2017             Selected scholars are notified

November 3-4, 2017        Scholars are invited to participate in the Iowa Civic Action Academy in Des Moines, Iowa

November 10, 2017         Mandatory virtual retreat and orientation for selected scholars from 12 pm to 2 pm

Spring 2018                         Scholars complete their projects and join in optional training sessions and other opportunities

May 4, 2018                        Project reports and video due (must be received to release scholarship funds)

May 9, 2018                       Scholars honored at the Engaged Campus Awards and Summit in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Scholar nominations will be reviewed by based on the following criteria:

  • Scholars must be full-time undergraduate students at a Campus Compact member institution and nominated by a faculty or staff member there (list of member institutions)
  • Scholars must have cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Scholars must be US citizens or permanent residents
  • Scholars must have a major or area of concentration in business or a related field, including:
    • Technology (IT/MIS/Computer Science)
    • Business/Data Analytics (or related)
    • Finance
    • Accounting
    • Real Estate
    • Marketing/Communications/Sales
    • Business/Management
    • Financial Services
    • International Studies
    • Economics
    • Other related majors on a case-by-case basis (contact Emily Shields at emob-rfuvryqf {at} vjpp(.)rqh-39">eshields {at} iwcc(.)edu-39');
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  • Students contributing to the diversity of perspectives, identities, and experiences in the program are strongly encouraged to apply. Preference should be given to scholars who are active in leadership roles on and off campus and/or have demonstrated financial need.

Scholar Expectations

The Principal Community Scholars Program is administered by Iowa Campus Compact and funded by Principal. It offers students the opportunity to collaborate with peers and receive support for leading a community-engaged project on their campus. Students participate in a virtual retreat, lead a project, and are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship. In order to receive the scholarship, each scholar must complete the following expectations:

Attend and fully participate in the virtual network retreat scheduled for November 10, 2017.

Full participation includes being on camera (if possible) for the entire retreat and actively participating in small group discussions. The meeting will take place from 12 pm to 2 pm central time.

Plan and implement the project outlined in the nomination proposal.

This project may change over the course of the semester. Please keep us informed of any major shifts. Please also keep us informed of successes, and send pictures or anything else that would help us to promote your work.

Meet regularly with your Program Advisor (staff or faculty member on campus).

This advisor is there to help you with ongoing support and guidance on how you can best impact social change and can help facilitate connections with key offices and individuals.

Submit a final program package by May 4, 2018. This includes:

  • A short (no more than 3 minute) video on your project
  • Upload a thank you letter to our funder, Principal
  • A brief post-participation survey
  • Final paperwork

Advisor Expectations

Scholar nominations will only be considered if the come from a faculty or staff member who is willing to serve in an advisor role on the students’ community engagement project. Advisors will be included on all communications about the program to help them effectively support the student.

Advising also includes:

  • Meeting regularly with the student to help them stay on track with their project
  • Helping the student navigate campus and community structures and helping to ensure that their project meaningfully meets community needs
  • Helping the student develop a sustainability plan for their project

Advisors are not expected to complete any paperwork or attend any of the meetings of the cohort and are invited to seek support from Iowa Campus Compact staff as needed.

Can institutions nominate more than one student?

Students must be nominated individually (not as part of a group) and institutions may submit up to three nominations, but each must be for a different student and a different project.  The Program Advisor may be the same for each or may vary.

I am an interested student, how do I apply?

The selection process for this program involves students being nominated by a faculty or staff member willing to serve as an advisor. Find an advisor on your campus and ask them to work with you on a nomination!

What if my institution is not a member of Campus Compact?

Unfortunately, this opportunity is limited to member institutions, but we hope you’ll join! Contact the director in your state or region for more information.

I am not majoring in business or a related field, can I still be nominated?

This program is designed to support business students and therefore only students in those fields are eligible. If you have a student with a major not on the list and want to make the case, please contact Emily Shields at emob-rfuvryqf {at} vjpp(.)rqh-89">eshields {at} iwcc(.)edu.

Is there any match requirement?

No, this is not a grant program and there is no match requirement.

How will the scholarship payment be made?

Scholarship payments will be made directly to students and may be used for tuition or other education-related expenses.