The Scholars Program: Where Success Follows


Dr. Nick Schevera, a group of scholars students, and I.

Iliana Padilla, Staff Reporter

The Scholars Program was started 10 years ago to attract high-achieving students to the college,” explained Nick Schevera. Dr. Schevera is currently the coordinator of the Scholars Program at CLC. 

The Scholars Program is a rigorous honors program at CLC that helps lead students to success. There are various resources available to the scholars such as guidance in their careers, exclusive scholarships, and connections with alumni. 

The weekly seminar that the scholars attend is purposefully different than their other classes. It is meant to be a space where students can freely voice their thoughts. Dr. Schevera enjoys the student-to-student interaction and when students have the ability to critically think about issues presented in films and literature. 

The seminar consists of four modules with CLC’s most notable professors where students freely discuss current events. Every year there is a different overarching theme in the seminar. This year it was based on the power of symbols and how they connect to ongoing global issues. 

We watched the film Marshall in one of the modules and discussed how Thurgood Marshall was pivotal in the case Brown v. Board. In addition to watching films we read the comic Blankets and discussed the difficulties of transitioning into adulthood. 

Dr. Schevera commented on how the Scholars Program is meant to help students develop their presentation skills and teach them to work in collaborative environments. “Oftentimes in graduate school and four-year institutions, you have to do a lot of presentations, so these skills are very important.”

When asked who would be an ideal candidate for the program, Dr. Schevera emphasized the importance of being “someone who is very outgoing and likes to discuss.” He also mentioned the significance of awareness surrounding current events and being someone who takes the initiative to volunteer.

As the Scholars Program coordinator, Dr. Schevera has been working with recruitment and CLC’s foundation to spread the word about the program’s lack of diversity. He feels that it is not as competitive because it is not very well-known among students. 

Additionally, Dr. Schevera explained the many benefits that come with being a part of the Scholars program. Tuition at CLC is covered for fall and spring because the program wants students to spend more time devoted to school instead of working to pay for their education. There are also 2 full-ride scholarships for Lake Forest College and Elmhurst College awarded exclusively to those in the CLC Scholars Program.

Moreover, Dr. Schevera said that the Scholars Program helps with building a resume by encouraging students to take on leadership roles such as student trustee or Editor-in-Chief for the Chronicle, CLC’s student-run newspaper. The scholars are encouraged to network with other scholars and continue their relationships after graduation. 

Scholars have access to a wide array of helpful resources. Dr. Schevera offers career guidance and writes strong recommendations for the Scholars. There are also visits from college representatives where students can ask specific questions and get to know the representatives on a personal level. There have been cultural visits as well as private college visits. 

Dr. Schevera encourages all CLC Scholars to apply to the Ivy League and other prestigious colleges such as Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Chicago. He reiterated how he wants to see Scholars move on to greater and bigger things. “The Scholars Program is a great place to start!” 

Dr. Nick Schevera.

According to Dr. Schervera, a good leader is someone who listens to all their constituents and takes everyone’s thoughts into consideration. A great Scholar knows how to move projects forward and gets everything done in a timely manner. Dr. Schevera affirms that leaders should not be afraid to take control of projects, even if it means altering the assignment to fit their vision. “I want the students to run the program and take over. I don’t want them to wait for me to tell them what to do.”

Dr. Schevera said that the purpose of on-campus jobs is to keep students on campus. He shed light on the benefits of having an on-campus job, explaining that “the job is not only important financially but it also gives you experience in your field of study.” Dr. Schevera also mentioned how students have been encouraged to get internships outside of CLC that could count as their work-study job. 

When asked what future Scholars can expect from the program, Dr. Schevera mentioned that they should expect bigger and better benefits for those involved. He revealed that he has been working on getting other four-year institutions to offer full rides.

In the interview process, Dr. Schevera looks for people who know how to articulate themselves and how personable they seem. He looks for students that are aware of world events and critical of credibility when it comes to sources. “We are looking for students that have intellectual curiosity,” said Dr. Schevera. 

Dr. Schevera advises applicants to leave nothing blank on the application. He also emphasizes the importance of being yourself in the interview, stating “it is not an inquisition, it is a conversation.”

The application is open to everyone of all ages and backgrounds. “I encourage all eligible students to apply to the program. It is a great opportunity. Students enjoy working with each other and learning from each other. It can be the start of a very successful career.” 

Be sure to apply by May 12th! Link to Application: