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Preston Residential College

Preston Scholars Program

The Preston Scholars Program is a unique way to showcase your involvement with Preston while pursuing Graduation with Leadership Distinction.

What is the Preston Scholars Program?

The Preston Scholars program (PSP) supports students of any major, minor, or intellectual interest in their quest for
academic and community leadership. Students must reside in Preston for at least 1 semester to apply to the Preston Scholars Program.

The Preston Scholars Program supports students in their quest for academic and community leadership development and service through:

  1. Connecting students to opportunities for meaningful service experiences;
  2. Promoting opportunities for leadership development and engagement;
  3. Supporting progression toward Graduation with Leadership Distinction;
  4. Recognizing high-achieving students in areas of leadership and service;


Why should I participate in the program?

If you’re a student involved in the community through coursework, Preston organizations, or service, you are
already working towards completing the requirements of the Preston Scholars Program! Becoming a Preston
Scholar distinguishes you from your peers, demonstrating your dedication to developing leadership and service. If
you earn a distinction as a Preston Scholar, you will be better prepared to market yourself as a servant leader and
a civically engaged individual both inside and outside the classroom. The Preston Scholars Program will serve as a
springboard into your completion of Graduation with Leadership Distinction. Additionally, participating in the
Preston Scholars Program is the only way to earn your Preston senior recognition cord!


Program Requirements

  • Students must reside at Preston for at least one semester, and can begin the program at any time during or after their residency.
  • Attend one meeting per semester with the Graduate Assistant, Assistant Principal, or Faculty Principal to discuss your progress toward completing the requirements of the Preston Scholars Program.
  • Fulfill the Core Requirements
    • Graduate with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA
    • You must remain in good standing with the University
    • Earn a C or better in a Preston class
    • Complete at least one of the pathways of GLD
    • Engage in experiences that add up to 10 points under each pillar (note that experiences have different point values)
  • Write a reflection detailing how your involvement in Preston and on campus has contributed to your development in the four Preston pillars

Pillar Requirements (this is not an exhaustive list)

Preston Coursework: Preston courses (will vary each semester) or courses taught by Preston Associates

Preston Grants (awarded): Travel grant, research grant

Campus Opportunities: Preston Lunch with the Dean, Undergraduate research, Study Abroad, U101 Peer Leader, Supplemental Instruction Leader, Peer Tutoring, Writing Center Tutor, Teaching Assistant, Attend a conference (+2 if you present), The Student Leadership and Diversity Conference

Academics: Minor in Leadership Studies, Organizational Leadership Course, Creative arts-related minor, Creative arts course

Preston Leadership: Attend Leadership Weekend, Serve on the Executive Board of a Preston organization, Publish a submission to the Bellwether, Build your own leadership or creative experience

Campus Opportunities: Resident Mentor, Orientation Leader, Serve on the exec board/lead team of a campus organization, Close Family Emerging Leaders Program (through the Leadership and Service Center), Attend the OMSA Diversity Retreat, Participate in Women LEAD, Freshman Council, EcoRep, Pillars XM, Provost's Leadership Week, Attend 2 Momentum Series (Leadership and Service Center) events in one semester, Other campus leadership opportunities (ex: Carolina Judicial Council, band section leader, Magellan Ambassador through the Office of Undergraduate Research)

Serve as a mentor in the Preston Mentor Program

Participate in the Adopt-an-Associate program for one semester

Involvement (one semester or year) in Preston: Any Preston Organization, Community Assistant

Preston Programs: Lodge events, K(no)w More event, Civil Rights Walk, Fireside Chat, Associate events

Campus Opportunities: Out-to-Lunch Program, University Ambassador, Women's Mentor Network, MAPP Mentor Program, Diversity Dialogue, OMSA Lunch and Learn, Safe Zone Training, Green Zone Training, Carolina Intercultural Training, CreedX, Involvement in a registered campus organization

Preston Opportunities: Y-IMPACT Service Projects, Transitions Homeless Shelter, Tour Corps, Preston Clean-ups, Families Helping Families, Preston Service Day

Campus Opportunities: Alternative Breaks (+1 if you lead a trip), Impact Weekly Service Trip (+1 if you lead a trip), Service Saturday (+1 if you are a site leader), MLK Day of Service, Dance Marathon (+1 if you are a team captain), Relay for Life (+1 if you are a team captain), Service organizations, Cocky's Reading Express, Carolina Service Council, Carolina/Clemson Blood Drive, Other campus service opportunities

Columbia and Beyond: 20 hours of service with an organization that has been approved by the Faculty Principal or Assistant Principal, such as Harvest Hope, Epworth Children's Home, Pawmetto Lifeline, Habitat for Humanity, Richland Hospital, and more


Frequently Asked Questions

If your course trajectory prevents you from enrolling in any Preston courses, please contact the Faculty Principal, Assistant Principal, or Graduate Assistant.

You may count an experience up to two times. For example, if you participated in Dance Marathon each year during your time at Carolina, you could include two of those experiences in your Preston Scholars Program requirements.

In order to have an all-inclusive representation of your experiences in Preston and at Carolina, you are encouraged to continue updating your spreadsheet!

Your off-campus experiences, if initiated during your time at Carolina, may count in one of the four pillars. Approval will come from the Faculty Principal or the Assistant Principal.

The Preston Scholars Program is intended to encapsulate the experiences and growth you have during your time at Carolina. Experiences in high school, while valuable for your development, do not meet the mission and goals of the Preston Scholars Program and therefore do not meet the requirements of the Preston Scholars Program.

Once you have fulfilled the point requirements of the Preston Scholars Program and completed your GLD requirements, you will receive a letter signed by the Faculty Principal and the Assistant Principal indicating your successful completion of the Preston Scholars Program. You will also receive a signed copy of your Preston Scholars progress worksheet. Finally, you will receive your Preston senior recognition cord.

While many experiences in Preston and on campus are multi-dimensional and may contribute to two or more of the Preston pillars (ex: Out-to-Lunch program, service leadership, U101 Peer Leader), one experience may not count in multiple pillars. You must select which pillar you would like to associate with that experience.

If you are participating in something that you think fulfills the requirements of the Preston pillars, let us know! The lists we have provided are not exhaustive and they leave room for other opportunities.

Getting Involved

If you're interested in learning more about the Preston Scholars Program, please contact Sarah Kelly at

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