The James Scholar Program is a University-wide program established to encourage undergraduate research and independent study and can involve opportunities to work with renowned faculty who support research and scholarship. 

In the College of Education, the James Scholar Program provides a rewarding educational experience for students with exceptional academic skills. James Scholars in Education are civically engaged, global citizens and leaders able to use research based decision making skills. James Scholars are creative, collaborative and think critically as they prepare to enter the work force. As a James Scholar we expect you to view the world from all different perspectives and become change agents in society. It is our hope that the honors community in the College of Education will allow you to find and discover opportunities and take risks that broaden your thinking so you leave here ready to make a difference in the field of education. Diversity is a key element of the College of Education and we expect you to become enlightened and compassionate about current educational issues related to social, environmental and economic justice. To this end, Education James Scholars are encouraged to develop transferable skills and academic discipline around the following themes:

  • Research
  • Service Learning/ Social Justice
  • Leadership
  • Professional Development

Overview of the James Scholar Program

Incoming Freshmen entering the College of Education Fall 2013 and after will be expected to select James Scholars options in accordance with the requirements of the designated four themes in order to be eligible for cords at graduation. Two research and one Professional Development projects are required.

Incoming transfer students and students who entered prior to Fall 2013 are not bound to the four themed requirements - but are encouraged to participate in any options offered and required to participate in the Professional Development student teaching option.

Themes of the Program

I.  Research – (2 REQUIRED)

  • EDUC 102 – Freshmen only
  • CI 199 (repeatable option)
  • eHCLA (research option only, refer to Participating Faculty Researchers)
  • eHCLA Research Lab Site: Adult Learning Lab
  • EPS 199 – Leadership in Global Engagement (Spring Only)
  • HDFS 494- Research Methods (Developmental Assessment and Screenings with Young Children or STRONG Kids Program sections) 

II. Service Learning /Social Justice/ Study Abroad (1 Recommended)

Please consult the campus Class Schedule for availability and times.

CI 260- Serving Child in Schools/Community

ENG 298- Special Topics (only specified sections, examples include but not limited to Lego Robotics Mentoring or Learning in Community with Don Moyer’s Boys and Girls Club)

ENG 315 - Learning in Community (examples include but not limited to Campus Middle School for Girls and the Walking School Bus Program). See the course schedule for details. 

ARTE 260- Museums in Action

ARTS 299- The Everyday Arts Lab (EAL)

LIS 418- Community Engagement

SPAN 232- Spanish in the Community

SPAN 332- Spanish and Entrepreneurship

UP 478- Community Development Workshop

CHEM  199 – Undergraduate Open Seminar (only specified sections such as Sci Ed and Research for Children, Kids and Chemistry Outreach program)

EPS 390 -Education & Social Justice

Study Abroad – If participating in a semester-break or Summer program (taken from Illinois), students can  earn James Scholar credit by presenting their experience. Presentations for semester-break trips must be the immediate semester.  Students interested in earning James Scholar credit will need to create a 4-5 minute video about their educational experience and present the video at one of the James Scholar spring events.  Contact Lori Fuller harvey1@illinois.edu for video and presentation details. 

PLEASE NOTE: Semester long study abroad trips automatically fulfill the James Scholar requirement for the semester the student is abroad. The semester long study abroad does not require a presentation.

III. Leadership (1 Recommended)

EPS 199 – Leadership in Global Engagement (Spring Only) (This course can also count toward the research component.)

Attend a LEADERSHIP Center Program 

To register for an Illinois Leadership Center Program, you will need to navigate to the Illinois Leadership Center website. Directions on how to register are available through this website. Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email from the Leadership Center with information about the event. Please note, students may register for a maximum of two programs to count toward James Scholar credit. 

To receive James Scholar credit for attending an Illinois Leadership Center program, students are expected to be an active and positive participant. Students must submit copy of I-program certificate to 142 EDUC by the end of the semester in which the program was attended.

IV.  Professional Development (Highly Recommended- Student Teaching Semester only)

  • Create a Clinical Experiences Interactive Blog 
  • Attend a District Professional Development Opportunity
  • Create a Workshop for the Office of School and Community Experiences Professional Development Series
  • Service-Learning Project
  • A Study on Teacher Supervision/Evaluation

V.  Other

  • EPSY 200 (Repeatable option) (eHCLA not required)
  • eHCLA (Course related; Repeatable option)
  • James Scholar Course (Repeatable option)