Q. HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE ASHBROOK SCHOLAR PROGRAM?
A. The formal application process is very simple. It begins with submitting a paper application or online application, and culminates in an interview with the Director of the Ashbrook Center. This interview will ultimately determine whether the candidate is accepted into the program.
The purpose of the interview is to reveal to the candidates, in a forthright but graceful manner, not only what the Ashbrook Center does, but how we think of ourselves, what our broad purposes are with regard to academic excellence, and our high expectations of them.
The interview is done conversationally, because the candidates themselves must know why they want to be part of the program, and why we believe they ought to want to be part of the program. During the interview, we emphasize the challenges and difficulties of the program. At all times we present things honestly to the candidate, and we expect honesty in return. The character of these interviews helps to establish that trust upon which the success of the program is founded.
The interview concludes with a 15-20 minute discussion on the nature and importance of reading and writing, after which all candidates receive a copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
To apply to the Ashbrook Scholar Program, click here.
Q. IS THE ASHBROOK SCHOLAR APPLICATION SEPARATE FROM THE ASHLAND UNIVERSITY APPLICATION?
A. Yes. They are two separate applications. You may complete either first but you must complete both to become an Ashbrook Scholar. Both Ashland University and the Ashbrook Scholar Program accept students on a rolling basis but the earlier you apply, the better.
Q. HOW MUCH DO ASHBROOK SCHOLARS RECEIVE IN FINANCIAL AID ON AVERAGE?
A. Ashbrook Scholars receive, on average, over $10,000 in scholarships to attend Ashland University in addition to the $2000 Ashbrook Scholarship.
Q. HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY CAREER AS AN ASHBROOK SCHOLAR AT ASHLAND UNIVERSITY?
A. One important part of the Scholar Program is the academic advising that takes place before students arrive on campus. Working with the Academic Advising office, the Ashbrook Center helps create the course schedules for all of the incoming Ashbrook Scholars. The students are expected to study with the best and most challenging faculty on campus and will be introduced to some of these faculty during their first semester.
A few weeks after their high school graduation, Ashbrook Scholars accepted into the program receive a copy of Winston Churchill’s My Early Life. Between that time and their arrival on campus, they must read and think seriously about the book. Incoming Ashbrook Scholars must also write and submit an essay for evaluation, due two weeks before classes begin, on Churchill’s view on education.
Ashland University’s Orientation Weekend takes place each fall before classes begin. As soon as Ashbrook Scholars arrive on campus, they become involved in the heart of University activities—reading, writing, and conversation. A few days before classes begin, incoming Ashbrook Scholars participate in a seminar with the Director on Churchill’s My Early Life. Incoming Ashbrook Scholars also attend a seminar with Political Science faculty on the essays they submitted. The evening before classes begin, all Ashbrook Scholars attend an organizational meeting in which they are given important information regarding events, reminded of their obligations, and introduced to Faculty and Staff. The next day classes begin.
Q. WHAT GUIDANCE WILL I RECEIVE AS AN ASHBROOK SCHOLAR?
A. All Faculty and Staff involved with the Ashbrook Scholar Program are dedicated to promoting the academic and personal success of the Ashbrook Scholars, and they devote an extraordinary amount of time and energy to this.
Faculty and Staff monitor the activities of Ashbrook Scholars closely, maintain frequent contact with them, and have personal knowledge of and interest in each individual student. Frequent discussions between Faculty and Staff allow us to ensure that each individual Ashbrook Scholar receives the necessary guidance but is also challenged in his or her coursework and endeavors.
Ashbrook Scholars realize that they are never an inconvenience to Faculty and Staff, but just the opposite. They see this in the sheer amount of time and number of programs dedicated to promote their development in excellence, and in the energy Faculty and Staff dedicate to the program.
Ashbrook Scholars are given home phone numbers of all Faculty and Staff so that they know we are serious when we encourage them to contact us, any time and day of the week, about anything that may be troubling them—from roommate problems, to health issues, to difficulties with classes or professors. Ashbrook Scholars know that the Faculty and Staff are their greatest advocates.
Q. WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ASHBROOK SCHOLARS?
A. Ashbrook Scholars are required to either major or minor in Political Science, History, International Political Studies, or Integrated Social Studies Education. Over two-thirds of Ashbrook Scholars major in Political Science, and well over half have double-majors.
Ashbrook Scholars know and understand their duties and responsibilities, and the expectations we have of them academically and personally:
- Ashbrook Scholars understand that there is an unwritten Code of Honor (don’t lie, cheat, or steal) to which all must adhere.
- They must attend all Ashbrook events—approximately six per semester—during their career as an Ashbrook Scholar.
- They must not only attend these events, but must be fully prepared to engage in meaningful conversation with speakers, whether it is a professor from California or a U.S. Senator.
- Preparation for events often includes reading books, chapters, or articles as requested by guest speakers.
Every semester, all Ashbrook Scholars are reviewed for academic performance. Ashbrook Scholars must demonstrate significant progress each semester toward satisfaction of their major, and maintain minimum grade point standards.
In their first year, Ashbrook Scholars take a full year of Political Science, History, and English courses.
Ashbrook Scholars are encouraged to take foreign languages, even if not required for their major. They are especially encouraged to study languages in intensive summer programs immediately after high school graduation, and between their freshman and sophomore years.
Beginning in the summer after their sophomore year, Ashbrook Scholars are encouraged to work at internships, and the Staff and Faculty assist them in finding and applying for these internships. In many cases, the Center is also able to help the Scholars financially during their internships.
In the last semester of their junior year, Ashbrook Scholars begin work on a Statesmanship Thesis. The thesis must be complete by the end of their senior year, at which time they give a public lecture and successfully defend the thesis before a panel of Ashland University Faculty.
Q. WHAT TYPE OF CLASSES WOULD I TAKE AS A SCHOLAR?
A. All freshmen Scholars are required to take Understanding Politics (POLSC 101) with Dr. Peter Schramm and Democracy in America (POLSC 102) with Dr. Jeffrey Sikkenga. This helps provide our Scholars with a firm and equal foundation to begin their studies here at Ashland University. During the rest of their freshmen year, Scholars will take a variety of classes in the Department of History and Political Science as well as others to complete their Liberal Arts Core Curriculum.
The courses offered in the Department of History and Political Science are designed to broaden and deepen one’s understanding of political life, and develop the intellectual faculties of inquiry, analysis, and critical judgment through the study of politics and history. Students will take courses and seminars in political theory, American politics, Constitutional law, international relations and foreign policy, as well as history and literature.
For more information on the courses and to see some of the works Scholars will study, please see our page on Course of Study.
Q. WHAT MAKES THE ASHBROOK SCHOLAR PROGRAM AT ASHLAND UNIVERSITY DIFFERENT FROM PROGRAMS AT OTHER UNIVERSITIES?
A. There are three unique qualities of the Ashbrook Center that contribute to Ashbrook Scholars’ attachment to the program, having to do with our name, place, and purpose:
- “Name” – Students are proud to call themselves Ashbrook Scholars. They think of themselves as Ashbrook Scholars both during their time at Ashland University and after graduation. There is a sense of honor attached to being called an “Ashbrook Scholar” because one must work hard to win and keep the title.
- “Place” – Students can use the Ashbrook Center and its resources at any time. They realize that it is their place. Ashbrook Scholars treat the Center as a comfortable but impressive place where they can gather to socialize, study, or engage in meaningful discussions together.
- “Purpose” – Ashbrook Scholars are a community of students involved in a common enterprise—the pursuit of excellence. Surrounded by like-minded colleagues, Ashbrook Scholars demonstrate their passion for this pursuit by taking the hardest courses and gravitating to the most challenging and demanding professors. They see that this common pursuit is important to their well-being, to their academic work, and to their future. They have a sense that although their common work is demanding, it is good and satisfying, and will prove useful to their happiness.
From the very beginning, Faculty and Staff treat Ashbrook Scholars more as colleagues than as children or apprentices. We take them seriously—not kowtowing to them, but dealing with them in a mature, serious, and honest manner. Faculty and Staff actually talk to them as adults, and Ashbrook Scholars begin to think of themselves as colleagues from the moment they are accepted into the program. This contributes to the confidence they have in their own abilities as leaders. The result of this mutual respect and confidence is something like equality and friendship—not just between fellow Ashbrook Scholars, but also with Faculty and Staff—producing camaraderie between scholars and friends in a community of excellence.
Q. WHAT TYPES OF SPEAKERS DOES THE ASHBROOK CENTER SPONSOR?
A. The speaking events sponsored by the Ashbrook Center allow Ashbrook Scholars to apply what they learn in the classroom to the practice of political and professional life. Speakers at Ashbrook Center events have a great deal of professional and scholarly experience, which shows in the topics they discuss.
Many of the nation’s best-known scholars, writers, and public leaders have visited the AU campus to give talks and engage in dialogue with students during our Ashbrook Colloquium events, which take place two to three times per semester. Noteworthy scholars from universities across the country visit and present short lectures on a relevant American history or political topic, and engage in a question and answer session with students and guests. Visiting speakers are preeminent in their professions and fields of study, and often they come prepared to discuss and answer questions about an important book they have recently published.
One of the longest running and most successful of the Ashbrook Center’s speaking events is the Major Issues Lecture Series. These luncheons are typically attended by 500 or more people, and take place two or three times each academic semester. In addition to attending the luncheon lecture, Ashbrook Scholars have the opportunity to meet with speakers in a private hour-long session to ask serious questions and engage in enlightening conversation.
Q. WHAT TYPES OF THESES DO SCHOLARS WRITE?
A. All graduating Ashbrook Scholars are required to write a Statesmanship Thesis during their final year as a Scholar. The subjects of Scholar Theses are as varied as the Scholars themselves. Over the years, we have had theses written on subjects such as: WWII operations, close examinations of Founding documents, boredom, presidents, education policy, as well as a novel.
The best of these theses are given the Charles Parton Award, named in honor of the former director of the Ashbrook Center who inspired the creation of the Statesmanship Thesis program. To view the work of past winners of this honor, please go to our Publications page.
Q. ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ASHBROOK SCHOLARS TO STUDY ABROAD OR IN OTHER CITIES?
A. Ashbrook Scholars are strongly encouraged to explore opportunities to study abroad and intern during the summer months or even during the academic year. The AU Global Education Office can assist you in exploring opportunities outside of the United States. The Ashbrook Center has a national network of friends, colleagues, and alumni that give us many points of contact for current Ashbrook Scholars seeking internships. Ashbrook Scholars are encouraged to apply to internships that have been obtained by past Scholars and to seek out new opportunities.
Q. CAN I TRANSFER INTO THE ASHBROOK SCHOLAR PROGRAM FROM ANOTHER COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY?
A. Yes, there are a limited number of places available in the program for transfer students. The application process is the same as it is for incoming freshmen. Apply on-line and we will contact you shortly thereafter to guide you through the rest of the application process. You will also need to apply to and be accepted into Ashland University to be part of the Ashbrook Scholar Program. See AU’s Admissions web site for more information on applying to AU.
Q. DO I HAVE TO BE A FRESHMAN TO APPLY FOR THE ASHBROOK SCHOLAR PROGRAM?
A. No, there are a limited number of places available in the program for upperclassmen. The application process is the same as it is for incoming freshmen. Apply on-line and we will contact you shortly thereafter to guide you through the rest of the application process. If possible, it is preferred that you have one of your AU professors submit the letter of reference for your application.
Q. WHERE DO ASHBROOK SCHOLARS LIVE ON CAMPUS?
A. All freshman Ashbrook Scholars live together in Mishler House on the third floor of Andrews Hall. A few upperclassmen have the opportunity to live in Mishler House but the majority live in the various dorms on Ashland University’s campus.
Q. WHAT DO SCHOLARS DO AFTER GRADUATION?
A. The graduates of the Ashbrook Scholar Program have gone on to a wide variety of successful careers. About a third of our graduating Scholars go directly to graduate school studying various majors, another third go to law school while the final third go into the work force.
Our Alumni are not strictly confined to work as a lawyer or within the government. Our program allows students to become thoughtful citizens who are able to adapt to an ever-changing world.
A partial list of offices and organizations where Ashbrook Scholars have established careers can be found here.