The Lafayette College Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP) is premised on the belief that solving complex challenges necessitates innovative solutions with contributions from both engineering and the liberal arts. The purpose of the GCSP at Lafayette College is to encourage undergraduates to acquire the disciplinary expertise, breadth of knowledge, and the social, ethical, technical, and environmental awareness to successfully address the challenges.
Grand Challenge scholars are recognized as members of a selective group who have gone beyond the typical undergraduate expectations with a combined curricular and co-curricular program that includes five components as specified by the NAE:
Students who complete the five components of the program successfully will receive a designation of Grand Challenge Scholar endorsed by Lafayette College and the National Academy of Engineering. Grand Challenge scholars are viewed with distinction by faculty, colleagues, graduate schools, and employers.
1. Project or Research Experience: Each GC scholar must participate in a multidisciplinary team project related to a specific Grand Challenge problem as described below.
2. Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Each GC scholar must participate in a curriculum that prepares them to work at the intersection between engineering and the liberal arts. Students must complete an interdisciplinary cluster of three courses outside of one’s major department that relates to the Grand Challenge being investigated.
3. Entrepreneurship: Each GC scholar must participate in a curricular or co-curricular component on the process of translating invention and innovation into market ventures. This may be either risk-taking ventures for business or introducing technology for not-for-profits in the public interest. Do one of the following:
4. Global Dimension: Each GC Scholar must participate in a curricular or co-curricular component that instills elements necessary to develop innovations in a global economy, or address ethical issues of global concern. Domestic activities that stress global or cross-cultural implications may satisfy this component. Do one of the following:
5. Service Learning: Each GC Scholar must participate in a curricular or co-curricular component that deepens their social awareness and aims to heighten their motivation to bring their expertise to bear on societal problems. Do one of the following:
*Courses and activities used to satisfy one component of GCSP may not be used to satisfy another set of GC requirements, however, they may be used to fulfill applicable sections of the College’s Common Course of Study or other degree requirements.
*Upon completing the five requirements of the GCSP, students must submit an application to complete the Grand Challenge Scholar Program. Part of this application is an essay where the student relates the five components to their selected Grand Challenge and shows how they have impacted the challenge under investigation.