Blake Leadership Scholars Program
The Blake Leadership Scholars Program in the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University rewards outstanding academic achievement in high school as well as demonstrated leadership and community engagement. Blake Scholars possess strong sense of character and understand the value of a liberal arts education. The program includes a scholarship of $12,000 over 4 years ($3,000/year).
The Blake Leadership Scholars Program further develops a student’s potential through excellent additional opportunities to
- help students feel connected to and supported by the College of Liberal Arts and Colorado State University;
- provide access to service and leadership opportunities;
- encourage scholastic excellence through academic and co-curricular experiences.
All programs and services are tailored to the academic and co-curricular interests of the scholars in the cohort (8 students per year).
The Blake Leadership Scholars Program is available to incoming first-year students who have applied for admission to a major in the College of Liberal Arts. The program enhances the student’s education through scholarship funding and internship, education abroad, and undergraduate research opportunities. The program is renewable for four years, provided students meet the criteria.
Students selected as Blake Scholars must also be accepted to and enrolled in the University Honors Program, an enriched educational program of study for academically talented and motivated students at Colorado State University.
The Blake Leadership Scholars program welcomes all applicants. The program is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, age, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
About Joe Blake
The Blake Leadership Scholars Program was founded by CSU System chancellor emeritus Joe Blake. Blake had a desire to connect CSU’s excellent faculty with excellent students and created the merit-based leadership program to do so.
Read more about Joe Blake's legacy and his transformational gift to the College of Liberal Arts.
Faculty Mentor & Seminar
Each class of Blake Leadership Scholars will have a faculty mentor, a professor from the College of Liberal Arts who is dedicated to undergraduate education and to developing leadership programming for students. During the fall semester of their freshman year, Scholars will take a one-credit course from their faculty mentor to introduce them to the support services and leadership opportunities available to the students. In the fall semester of their junior year, Scholars will take a second one-credit seminar from their mentor preparing them for post-graduate success, whether in further academic settings or professional opportunities. These seminars both challenge and empower students, asking them to consider how the disciplines of the liberal arts might remedy, repair, and solve the problems facing humanity in the 21st century while providing them opportunities to act in response to those problems.
Meet Dr. Zach Hutchins, associate professor of English and the faculty mentor for the Blake program Fall 2019-Fall 2022 cohorts
Blake Leadership Scholars also participate in a peer mentoring program that draws them into a tight-knit community of individuals committed to supporting one another throughout the undergraduate experience. For first-year students, this means receiving encouragement and insight from students in junior and senior year who know from personal experience how to navigate campus. For Scholars in the junior seminar, this means setting up regular meetings with first and second years and connecting first-year Scholars with the people and programs on campus that will help them maximize their time at CSU.
Scholars will participate in service learning within the Fort Collins community and may engage in other ways, for example, by engaging with distinguished guests visiting campus and attending dynamic cultural productions. These and similar opportunities to learn, socialize, and serve alongside other Scholars foster a sense of camaraderie that makes the Blake Leadership Scholars a tightly-knit group united by a desire to make both our campus and our civic environments more inviting and equitable.
Getting Connected to CSU: Becoming Part of the Ram Family
Students learn about CSU’s Principles of Community, become familiar with tools for navigating a successful first semester, and learn about campus resources for personal and academic support. Further, students participate in team-building activities, learn to identify their strengths, and receive special assistance from their Academic Success Coordinators in developing a four-year plan for success at CSU.
Getting Involved at CSU: Service and Leadership Opportunities
Students learn about service and leadership opportunities at CSU. They engage in a team service-learning project, developed to align with their specific interests. They also learn about the myriad of leadership opportunities available to them at CSU, including, but not limited to:
- College of Liberal Arts Ambassadors
- Liberal Arts Dean’s Leadership Council
- Presidential Ambassadors
- University Honors Program Student Association and Peer Mentor Program
- Associated Students of CSU (student government)
- The REAL Experience, a program that focuses on a variety of leadership topics and skills that promotes holistic leadership for the real world.
- President’s Leadership Program: an academic experience that provides opportunities to expand one's knowledge about diversity issues, values, and ethics in the greater context of leadership development.
Making the Most of your Academic and Co-curricular Experience at CSU
Students learn about and are encouraged to take advantage of the high impact practices that will set them up for success while at CSU and after graduation. These high-impact practices include, but are not limited to:
- Education abroad
- Internships and career education
- Undergraduate research opportunities
- Engagement in academic centers, including the Community Literacy Center, the Center for Public Deliberation, the Straayer Center for Public Service Leadership, the Public History Lands Center, and the Digital Liberal Arts Hub
Blake Leadership Scholars Criteria
The Blake Leadership Scholars program is looking for high-achieving students with academic excellence, demonstrated leadership and community engagement, exceptional character, and a commitment to a liberal arts education.
To qualify for application, you must be a high school senior admitted to a degree program in the College of Liberal Arts and applying for admission to the CSU Honors Program. You must have achieved academic excellence as exhibited by your GPA (minimum 3.8), class rank, your high school or dual/concurrent enrollment coursework, and/or standardized test scores (if you took a standardized test). In addition, you must have experience, accomplishments, or extra curricular achievements that showcase your leadership, community and civic engagement, and your character.
Criteria for application:
- High school senior applying for admission to a degree program in the College of Liberal Arts
- Applying for admission to the CSU Honors Program
- 3.8 GPA (minimum)
- Academic achievement through your GPA (minimum 3.8), class rank, your high school or dual enrollment coursework, and standardized test score (if you took a standardized test).
- Experience, accomplishments, extra curricular achievements, and talents demonstrating leadership and community or civic engagement
Students must be accepted into and intend to enroll in the Honors Program to be eligible for Blake. Once accepted into the Blake Leadership Scholars Program, awards are renewed each academic year for up to four years total provided the student meets the following criteria:
- Maintain an overall 3.5 GPA
- Be a full-time student (24 credits per year) with a primary major in the College of Liberal Arts
- Engage actively with the Blake Leadership Scholars Program
How to Apply
1. Apply for admission to Colorado State University
Eligible Blake Leadership Scholars must apply for undergraduate admission to a degree-seeking program in the College of Liberal Arts through the CSU Office of Admissions. Please apply to the University Honors Program through your standard application for admission. The Honors Program requires a separate form which can be accessed through the “Academics” tab on RAMweb.
2. Apply for the Blake Leadership Scholars Program through the Colorado State University Scholarship Application (CSUSA)
After applying for admission to CSU, students must submit a separate application for the Blake Leadership Scholars program by February 6, 2023.
Questions about the program or application requirements should be directed to Ray Hecht, Recruitment & Enrollment Coordinator, by phone at (970) 821-5276 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.