Program Coordinator NCSU - Forestry and Env Resources
Background/Question/Methods The Scholars for Conservation Leadership Program (SCLP) is funded by the US Forest Service (USFS) and coordinated by The Land Trust Alliance (LTA). The program provides career development opportunities to students of color interested in conservation. Undergraduate seniors engage in career development activities, network with conservation practitioners, receive mentorship, attend the Rally Conference, and can qualify for a year-long fellowship with a Land Trust. To date, two cohorts have participated in the program and completed pre- and post-surveys to share their experiences and perspectives. This study explores the evidence gathered to determine if SCLP achieved the desired outcomes of expanding career development opportunities for students of color with an interest in conservation.
Results/Conclusions Thus far, two cohorts of students from diverse backgrounds (n=19) have participated in the SCLP. Students reported that they benefited from engaging in the SCLP activities and attending the Rally conference. Participating in the SCLP increased the students’ interest pursuing a career in conservation as well as working with a land trust organization. Overall, both cohorts enjoyed the SCLP and would recommend the program to their peers (100%). Currently, the evidence strongly suggests the SCLP is achieving the goals of expanding career development opportunities to students of color from diverse communities and increasing their interest in pursuing a career in conservation as well as working with a land trust organization. Additional time and data are needed to determine if the SCLP will impact equity and inclusion in leadership roles within land trust organizations.