Students with an interest in innovation and demonstrated academic success are invited to apply to the iScholars program.

iScholars is an innovation-focused, 12-week paid summer internship that integrates employment, course work, and community to provide hands-on experience in the metro Washington, D.C., area. The application deadline is Friday.

After two years of pilot programs, iScholars is partnering with the Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Apex CIE), which placed 38 interns in its entrepreneurship internship program last summer. APEX CIE and the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs will offer 40 undergraduates the opportunity to live, work, and learn in the metro D.C. area in the summer of 2017.

iScholars is a response to  President Tim Sands’ aspirations to expand student engagement in the National Capital Region and to offer collaborative, experiential learning to all Virginia Tech students.

Successful applicants will participate in a one-credit spring preparatory course on innovation and two one-credit supporting courses during the summer.

They will apply learning from the preparatory course in internships with regional companies.

“The National Capital Region is uniquely situated to offer our undergraduates the opportunity to learn innovation and entrepreneurship through practice under the mentorship of Virginia Tech’s generous partner organizations,” said Jill Sible, assistant provost for undergraduate education.

“We are partnering with Startupland to offer a curriculum developed by real entrepreneurs,” Sible said. “We hope to recruit students from a diversity of majors and to engage them in breaking down silos among business, sciences, engineering, humanities, and art, as they collaborate to improve their skills in integrative thinking, communication, and problem-solving. In essence, iScholars is designed to develop VT-shaped students.”

Derick Maggard, Apex CIE executive director, said iScholars offers a remarkable opportunity for students: “a paid internship with progressive, innovative, and entrepreneurial companies, intense mentoring, and deep experiential learning amid fellow students, alumni, and corporate partners.”

Interviews of select applicants will begin Nov. 30.

For more information and access to the online application form, visit Questions about the program or application procedures should be directed to

Written by Caleigh Shaffer, of Radford, Virginia, a senior majoring in public relations in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

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