Scholars participate in a series of enrichment experiences (the Enrichment Academy) that are intended to advance their development in scholarship, leadership, service and character.
Prior to the start of the academic year, scholars embark on a retreat typically held in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Faculty facilitate discussions on a shared reading experience, and upperclassmen scholars help small groups of freshmen prepare to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded by the program and NC State. The class also participates in challenges to hone teamwork and communication skills.
Scholars enroll in a PRK course (101, 102, 201, 202, 301, 302, 401 or 402) each fall or spring semester in which they receive Park Scholarships funding. These courses comprise the Enrichment Academy. Courses address a variety of topics and explore theories and methods from a practical standpoint, helping scholars gain a deeper understanding of their own leadership style and then benefit from that insight immediately. Scholars also use this time to plan upcoming distinguished speaker events, Learning Labs and other collaborative projects.
Learning Lab I
Learning Lab I, an overnight trip designed and implemented by freshman Park Scholars, affords students insight into leadership and service through the lens of a challenge currently facing North Carolina. Completed as part of PRK 102, students meet and learn from leaders about how to approach complex challenges in order to take action to create positive change. The Class of 2026 focused on homelessness and housing insecurity in North Carolina. The Class of 2025 focused on the foster care system and examined diverse ways leaders are responding to child welfare challenges affecting North Carolina and the Class of 2024 examined how leaders work together to address health care challenges.
Learning Lab II
Learning Lab II, a four-day experience in Washington, DC designed and implemented by sophomore Park Scholars, affords students insight into leadership and service through the lens of a national issue. Completed as part of PRK 201, students develop a critical understanding of national and global issues by interacting with leaders of varying backgrounds and immersing themselves in these issues. The Class of 2026 studied Criminal Justice Policy in the U.S. and its impacts. The Class of 2025 learned about the U.S immigration system. The Class of 2024 analyzed the U.S. education system and learned how leaders are implementing policies to improve equity and access to education at all levels.
The Senior Retreat is one of the culminating events during the final year. Park of PRK 401, this five-day journey provides the class with a unique opportunity to reflect on their past, reconnect with each other and plan for the future.
Park Enrichment Grants
Park Enrichment Grants, initiated in 1998, provide support for scholars to engage in professional and personal enrichment experiences in the United States and abroad. The grants are awarded by a committee composed of NC State faculty members and a Park Alumni Society representative. Grant proposals are due November 1, February 1, April 1 and May 25. Refer to our news announcements for lists of recent Enrichment Grant recipients.
Scholars can apply for Park Enrichment Grants to support international experiences that range in duration from one week to one year. Students also have the opportunity to apply for travel grants awarded by the Park Alumni Society in order to cover airfare for semester-long study abroad experiences. Students choosing international study in Spain are eligible for grants awarded in honor of the late Vincent Maniscalco ’04, a Park Scholar who studied in Salamanca, Spain. In addition, Park Scholars may apply for additional awards through NC State’s Study Abroad Office.