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What You'll Do As A Scholar

Bennion Scholars connect their academic area to a community-identified need to create sustainable change through a Capstone Project with a Community Partner and Faculty Mentor. As one of only four official transcript designation programs at the University of Utah, there are academic and community engagement requirements in addition to the Capstone Project. 

Service hours must meet a recognized community need through a non-profit agency or group, provide service to the University community, or assist an individual person in need. Service must be performed without an hourly wage or compensation.

Up to 100 hours of service conducted for academic credit and/or service supported through grants, stipends, or scholarships can generally be accepted.

Required 3-credit Intro to Civic Leadership Course (BENN 2030) offered fall and spring semesters.

Required 3-credit Capstone Course (BENN 4825) offered fall and spring semesters as a hybrid/mostly online course. This course requires a permission code to register. The Intro to Civic Leadership course is a required prerequisite.

3 credits of additional Community Engaged Learning (CEL) coursework of the Scholar’s choosing. Any prior Community Engaged Learning credits may be applied to the program requirements. In order to receive credit, the class must have a CEL designation in the "Course Attributes" of the online course catalog.

The Capstone Project is the culminating activity of the Scholars Program. It must integrate the Scholar’s academic interests (major/minor), skills, passion, and knowledge with substantively addressing a particular community-identified need and/or objective.  It demonstrates that the student has an in-depth and operational understanding of a particular issue or subject. A successful Capstone Project leaves a long term impact on the community and the student. Scholars partner with a community organization (public or non-profit) and a faculty mentor in the design and implementation of their project. Students must commit 100 volunteer hours to the Capstone Project (this is in addition to 200 community service hour requirement).

Reflection is an essential part of community engaged learning. In the context of the program, reflection is the act of discovering meaning behind our community engagement experiences. Rather than a simple retelling of events, Scholars articulate the relationship between different interactions and deeper issues and concepts. Scholars are able to use different methods for reflection such as journaling, writing a poem or song, making a video, or art.  For a reflection to meet the program criteria it must meet 3 Core Elements: Description (What?), Meaning (So What?), and Action (Now What?).

Maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA throughout the duration of the program.

Check-in each semester with a peer mentor.

Attend the annual Civic Leadership Conference held the first Saturday of November.


Program Benefits

  • Utilize your degree to help address a social problem.
  • Network with socially-minded faculty and community leaders.
  • Explore your passions, interests, and identity through different community experiences.
  • Earn an official transcript designation: Bennion Scholar.

Admission Requirements

  • 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • At least two full academic years left until graduation (you can have more and apply earlier)
  • A desire to make a positive difference in your world!
Last Updated: 6/8/21