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WKU Colonnade Program

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WKU Colonnade Program Signature Scholar


WKU believes that the voices of all students who are benefiting from the Colonnade Program are profoundly persuasive. In an effort to understand how the Colonnade Program is preparing WKU students to be successful students and engaged citizens, we invite all currently enrolled students to compete in the Signature Scholar essay competition. 


Submissions should address, in no more than 850 words, the following prompt:

One of the key purposes of Colonnade program is to empower students to see beyond disciplinary boundaries, and to analyze issues from different perspectives. The Colonnade Program is based on the idea that different ways of knowing can help students learn how to be more responsible members of their communities as well as more successful in their chosen major(s) and careers. In your essay, relate how specifically the Colonnade program has helped you advance in your major/profession and aided you to better understand more deeply your place in the local and global community.


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The contest is open to any current Western Kentucky University undergraduate student in good academic standing.

Entrants will be evaluated in within two categories:

  • Students who have completed less than 60 credit hours
  • Students who have completed 60 or more credit hours


Length and Format:

All essays are to be original essays, 750-850 words in length, typed, and double-spaced.

Each essay must include a completed title page.


Evaluation Criteria:

Essay contest winners will be determined by the Colonnade Program Committee based on the following criteria. 

The author:

  1. Demonstrates a clear understanding of the Colonnade Program’s core mission and learning outcomes.
  2. Utilizes persuasive, specific, and unique examples to prove how Colonnade Program affected his/her professional and civic goals and activities.
  3. Exhibits a genuine voice and connection to the contest topic.
  4. Uses clear and precise language to make his/her point.



First and second place will be awarded in each category (less than 60 credit hours; 60 or more credit hours) and will include a scholarship prize in the following amounts.

Winners for each entry category will receive: 

1st place: $500 

2nd place: $250

 The scholarship recipients agree to: 

  1. Have their essay published, in whole or in part, in print or online.
  2. Be featured on the Colonnade Program website.
  3. Be available for interviews for university print/online publications.


Deadline and Submission Instructions:

Students should save their essays as .pdf files and submit them to colonnadeplan@wku.edu with subject heading “Signature Scholar Essay.”

The first page should be the completed title page (download).

  • Students with less than 60 credit hours completed: April 6, 2017.
  • Students with 60 or more credit hours completed: March 2, 2017.



For questions, please contact colonnadeplan@wku.edu

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 Last Modified 12/1/20