Webinar for Advisors: Navigating the CLS Application Essays
Friday, August 23, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (EDT)
Join George Mason University Fellowship Advisors Kay Agoston and LaNitra Berger as they share tips that will help you help students with the CLS Program application. This webinar is a presentation of a session originally presented at the National Association of Fellowship Advisors' biennial conference on July 25, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Who Can Attend?: Any U.S. university faculty or staff member who is - or would like to be - involved in encouraging students to apply for the CLS Program, assisting students with their applications, or organizing a CLS application workshop is welcome to attend. This may include fellowship or honors program advisors, study abroad advisors, writing tutors, language teachers, and others. This webinar is not open to students. We can accomodate 100 distinct users on the webinar. In order to allow more people to participate, we ask that each organization or office register only one computer. However, multiple staff members may sit in on the session.
Webinar Description: Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) is a relatively new opportunity for students to study one of 13 critical languages intensively overseas during the summer. Due to increasing interest in critical languages, the CLS is becoming more competitive every year. The application requires students to articulate their career goals, their commitment to studying the target language, and their ability to succeed in a group-based setting through a series of short essay questions.
This workshop will discuss the CLS application essays and how to advise students on approaching them. We will examine each essay question and discuss what CLS administrators and reviewers are looking for in student responses. We will share our experience in recruiting and advising students for the CLS at GMU, including information about our CLS writing workshop and our current collaboration with a personal statements specialist through the Honors College and GMU’s MFA department. In addition, this workshop will provide advice and information for both graduate and undergraduate fellowship advisors and demonstrate how campus collaboration between undergraduate and graduate fellowship offices can lead to success in the application process. Finally, we will discuss specific challenges in recruiting minority and first-generation students for the CLS and how to address these challenges.
At the end of this workshop, attendees will gain greater insight into the specifics of the CLS application essays, tools to organize their own writing workshops, and strategies for recruiting applicants at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Critical Language Scholarship Program
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In 2006, its inaugural year, the CLS Program offered intensive overseas study in the critical need foreign languages of Arabic, Bangla, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu. In 2013, approximately 600 scholarships were awarded for thirteen languages, including Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu.