Tools for Success
The Park Scholars are selected with the hope they will develop their talents and take extensive strides in their chosen careers and as community volunteers. To enable them to fulfill this expectation, Park Scholars have access to a set of key tools (detailed below) to help them to succeed during and after college.
Park Scholars Online Community
Park Scholars, their faculty mentors, and the Park Faculty Scholars all are connected by an exclusive community Web site. This online forum provides an extensive communication vehicle within the Park Scholarships community, enabling the speedy sharing of academic, leadership, and service opportunities; access to applications for grants for research, artistic and service projects; and links to alumni resources. The Plan of Professional Development also is developed and updated within each scholar's personal online community page (see below).
Faculty play a prominent role in the program by connecting students with professional development opportunities in their chosen fields. While at NC State, Park Scholars benefit from faculty mentoring that helps them make connections in their disciplines and become involved in undergraduate research, or prepare applications for major national scholarships and other grants. Professors provide significant connections with colleagues and research projects at other institutions where Park Scholars may seek to undertake graduate work.
Alumni often provide similar connections, notably in the corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors. Through the Park Alumni Society, scholars may seek assistance from graduates in finding internships during college and employment afterwards. In addition to receiving faculty assistance, scholars have the opportunity to consult with Park alumni who won major national scholarships to seek guidance on organizing their applications and on preparing for interviews.
Plan of Professional Development (PPD)
The Plan of Professional Development allows each scholar to explore available opportunities, to organize them into a coherent and well-reasoned plan of action, and to maintain maximum flexibility in achieving personal and professional goals. These plans are developed in consultation with a faculty mentor in the scholar's field. The plans are particularly important in guiding their tremendous academic talents and in developing their outstanding potential to excel in coursework, to undertake research and artistic projects, to assume leadership positions, and to engage in community service activities. As part of preparing their plans, scholars outline their course(s) of study, including major and minor courses, as well as their scholarship, leadership, and service goals.