About the Student Scholastic Award
From time to time academic faculty come in contact with a truly outstanding student. This student may be a promising undergraduate, an impressive grad student, or a colleague-like doctoral candidate.
These, and only these, are the types of students our organization seeks to honor with our annual Scholastic Award.
The Scholastic Award isn’t awarded annually to “just one person” by our organization. There is simply too much talent at our sister organizations to determine a single recipient. Rather, each school’s program has the opportunity to honor their own qualified student.
Award Honoree Standards
For there to be continuity between the type of student honorees from institution to institution, standards must exist. Without them, the award would mean little or nothing at one school and be a tremendous honor at another. For this reason, the following guidelines are given and can be adapted to your type of institution and degree level. Even so, please honor the spirit of these standards in your institutions’ selection of an honoree.
The qualifications for the SPCE Scholastic Award honoree should never be merely the reductionist standard of a program’s highest Grade Point Average (GPA). As some institutions have asked for guidance on standards for our award, the following qualifications are provided:
- Be a Major or Student Earning the Degree. The student should be a “major” in the program or degree, not merely a student at the institution or a student taking only a “minor” in your degree or program.
- Be a Person of Godly Character. The student should not be a spiritual novice, but a person of genuine integrity who is actively pursuing an intimate relationship with the person of Jesus Christ.
- Be an Upperclassman. The institution should not “lay hands on someone too quickly,” meaning the person should not be a newer student in their respective program. By choosing an upperclassman, the institution knows the student has staying power and has not been honored, only to fail to complete the academic program. Such a situation would bring the faculty’s discernment into question.
- Be a Person of Academic Prowess and Professional Promise. The student to be honored should have the unique blend of being someone with academic acumen fitting for a scholastic award, but also someone capable of ministry excellence. As a professional academic degree, honoring students with practical skills united with sound theoretical strength is our goal.
- Be a Person with the Demeanor of a Model Student at Your Institution. Ultimately, the student chosen as an honoree represents both our organization and your institution. Exactly what it means to be a “model student” varies from location to location. That said, the essence of this standard is that the student is one of which the program and its faculty are proud. The student should represent the values of the program and should embody a commitment to the institution’s mission and vision.
Nominating and Honoring a Student
Each year, professors who are current SPCE members (having paid memberships for the current academic year) are invited to nominate an outstanding Christian Education student for the SPCE Scholastic Award.
Recommendations may be made from February 1 through May 1 of the current academic year.
The name of the individual who is nominated, affirmed, and selected by your respective faculty should be communicated to our organization well before the due date for your organization’s award event. The Scholastic Award is granted only once annually in the Spring Semester. For this reason, the nominating institution should consider graduates from all academic terms of the current academic year and request their award during the spring term, regardless of when the honoree will graduate or receive the award in the course of that year.
Here is how the process works: Each institutional division (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral program) is entitled to select one recipient. Each qualified academic program (e.g., B.A., MA, Ph.D.) is limited to one honoree regardless of the number of SPCE members within the department’s faculty, and regardless of the number of students in the program. In this way, schools with only a single program may choose a grand total of only one Scholastic Award recipient. Schools having both undergraduate and graduate programs may name up to two recipients—but only one from each respective program, and so on.
A school’s selected Scholastic Award recipient may be either a continuing or graduating student. It should also be stated that no school or department is required or expected to name a recipient. Because of the high standard the Scholastic Award represents, an institution may choose not to select an honoree if a worthy student cannot be identified in a given academic year. The decision is completely up to your school’s current SPCE Full (faculty) Members.
Once your selection has been made and communicated to our organization using the Scholastic Award Nomination Form, beginning in mid-March, the nominating professor (or contact name provided) will be mailed the SPCE Scholastic Award certificate, one lettered with the student’s name and signed by the president of our association. Schools usually present the certificate at a special awards ceremony.