James Scholar Honors Program at the College of Education

Each college at the University of Illinois participated in the James Scholar Honors Program, or James Scholar for short. The invitation requirements vary by college, so I am going to speak from my experience as a James Scholar in the College of Education. The program prides itself on four platforms: research, service learning, leadership and professional development. In order to stay in the program, one must complete a research requirement per semester.

First off, why do you want to be a James Scholar?

The first reason is in the name: honor. To be invited into the program, one must have academic excellence. Thus, being invited to participate in the program is a direct correlation of how hard you worked in high school, and you should definitely take pride in that.

What are the requirements to be a James Scholar?

In the College of Education, entering freshman must be at the top 15% of their applicant pool. There is no self-nomination process, so your high school transcripts will speak to the college on your behalf and show just how hard you worked in high school.

What are the perks to the James Scholar Program?

Aside from early class registration (which you will soon learn is VERY important), James Scholars have a stacks pass to the main library, a notation on college transcripts each year, and will receive cords to wear upon graduation.

My experience as a James Scholar!

The James Scholar Program has allowed me to explore my interests in the educational field, as well as conduct research on those interests. The two areas I have conducted research in are teacher burnout/retention and gender rules in an elementary classroom. I have definitely grown as a student from this process. Moreover, I met many of my closest friends through the program. Planning and conducting research really does lead to lifelong friendships, and at the end of the day that’s what really leads to personal growth.

More information

For more information, visit the link here!


Photos by Rachel Hernandez



Please note that comments close after 90 days.

Kathy Ryan

September 16, 2017, 12:14 pm

GREAT write up! Thanks so much Rachel. We are so privileged to have you in the College of Education.


Theresa Tucker, College of Education ARO

September 16, 2017, 9:14 pm

The James Scholars Program is a great opportunity to grow professionally and individually.
I’m happy to hear about your success in the program. You will reap great benefits from your unique experience!