students of color interact with each other
 

Clark Scholars Program Curriculum Details

The Clark Scholars curricular path was designed specifically for this program, one that is both structured and flexible. The path allows the cohort of Clark Scholars to receive education in the core program areas and maintain their cohesion as a group throughout their tenure at Penn State, even as they pursue varied educational options within the college.

Beyond the prescribed degree requirements for each major, the complementary academic components of the Clark Scholars Program leverages the strengths of the College of Engineering’s unique School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs (SEDTAPP), as well as the engagement and expertise of faculty and staff through the Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion (CEOI) and Global Programs.


Courses in Common

Clark Scholars share experiences through seminar courses and curricular elements offered during each year of the program. The courses-in-common model helps students identify peer allies in the engineering curriculum. This common scheduling has been implemented successfully with other similar cohort programs for Engineering Design 100, Math 140, and Chemistry 110. Of these courses, EDSGN 100 is a “cornerstone” course in the engineering curriculum that serves to introduce students to engineering design processes, methods, decision making, communication, and collaboration via team-based design projects.

Another required course for Clark Scholars is Business Basics (ENGR 411). This foundational business course teaches practical and fundamental ideas of financial management, including financial statements, cash flow projections, financial ratios, and budgeting. The course also covers business formation and the financial, marketing, and legal aspects of conducting business.


Scholar Seminar

Each year, there is a seminar for Clark Scholars that provides opportunities to engage with distinguished guest speakers from industry, education, and government. The opportunity to interact with role models who have progressed to different career stages supports positive identity formation as engineers. Themes for each year align with the Clark Program pillars.


Elective Specialization

The College of Engineering has long recognized that preparing students for success and leadership in the engineering fields — and thereby having a broader positive influence on those fields — requires that we reach across traditional academic boundaries to connect our students with educational opportunities in such areas as business, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Many of these programs are administered through SEDTAPP.

Scholars are exposed to foundational courses that give them a sampling on each path. With mentoring and advising support from the faculty director, scholars are required to specialize in one of three SEDTAPP educational tracks that leads them to graduate with a credential in their chosen specialization. As scholars begin to identify individual interests, advisors help students plan for one of these tracks, which they generally select in year two. These include:

  • Engineering Entrepreneurship (E-SHIP) Program: Offering the Technology-Based Entrepreneurship (TBE) cluster within the Intercollege Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI), the E-SHIP program prepares undergraduate students to be world-class technology business innovators with an entrepreneurial mindset as well as the practical business skills required to successfully initiate new ventures.
  • Engineering Leadership Development (ELD) Program: Founded in 1995 as the first Engineering Leadership Development program in the United States, the ELD program provides a challenging, relevant, and dynamic world-class curriculum that prepares students for leadership roles in a technical work environment.
  • Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE): HESE is an integrated learning, research, and entrepreneurship program that brings together students and faculty across campus in the rigorous research, design, field testing, and launch of technology-based enterprises in low- and middle-income countries.

Global Experiences

International experiences develop confidence and open students to new possibilities that they otherwise would not have considered. Such possibilities accelerate student engagement and drive intellectual curiosity while at Penn State and beyond. Through their participation, Clark Scholars build language skills, cultural knowledge, and cultural intelligence quotient or CQ (the ability to work effectively across cultures). They also benefit from an enhanced support system as they deepen their peer networks and embark on mentorship relationships with professors. To fully harness this momentum, we provide a cohort global experience during the first year, as well as opportunities for students to engage in international experiences later in their academic careers.

Later in their academic careers, Clark Scholars may request funding for other global experiences where there are opportunities through HESE and other College of Engineering programs.