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Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

Who are the Dayton Civic Scholars?

Dayton Civic Scholars (DCS) is a program of the College of Arts and Sciences initiated and supported by the social science departments and directed by the Fitz Center. The purpose of the DCS is to shape a "Social Science Excellence" identity within the social science programs by creating an intentional pathway from the classroom to community leadership and public service. The intent is to enable up to 45 University of Dayton students to have high community impact as early as their junior years by preparing each 15-student cohort for meaningful civic leadership roles as students. Students meet local leaders and engage in internships with local community organizations and government offices. Scholars also receive an annual upperclass scholarship.

About the Program

Graduate assistant Eva Schuller discusses the Dayton Civic Scholars program and the impact on involved students and the Dayton community.

About the Program

Graduate assistant Eva Schuller discusses the Dayton Civic Scholars program and the impact on involved students and the Dayton community.

About Us

The Dayton Civic Scholars program (DCS) is a co-curricular scholarship program administered through the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community at the University of Dayton. The DCS program strives to shape students into civic leaders through a rigorous academic track, sustained civic engagement and several professional development opportunities.  Fifteen students are selected at the end of their first-year to become a cohort that will embark on a three-year commitment together.


Dayton Civic Scholars prepare to become civic professionals and citizen leaders through sustained interdisciplinary civic engagement and scholarship with a focus on the City of Dayton.


To become a national model for institutions of higher education by utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to civic engagement and scholarship. This model will connect students with their existing environments and professional opportunities that will guide them throughout their academic careers and beyond to become leaders who build communities.

Desired Outcomes

  • Students will gain a better understanding of cities and local government
  • Students will have a strong knowledge base of the City of Dayton
  • Students will have a renewed sense of responsibility as a citizen
  • Students will become civically engaged in community
  • Students will understand urban issues and the leadership necessary to work on issues.

Program Requirements

  • 5-day program orientation held the week before classes begin
  • 60 hours of community engagement each semester
  • A semester-long internship
  • Leadership in Building Communities seminar (3 sem. hrs.)
  • Dayton Civic Scholars seminar (3 sem. hrs.)
  • Dayton Civic Scholars mini-course each semester (1 sem. hr. each)
  • Cohort capstone project


  • $1,000 scholarship for each year of involvement (not applicable for students with full award amounts from enrollment management)
  • 9 honors sem. hrs.
  • An honorary certificate
  • Official transcript notation
  • The opportunity to network with local community leaders and UD faculty
  • Recognition in graduation program

Community Partners

Dayton Civic Scholars gain valuable experience engaging with professionals in the field of public service, in a selection of many organizations. Some of our community partners include:

  • City of Dayton
  • Neighborhood School Centers
  • DECA and DECA Prep
  • Catholic Social Services of Miami Valley
  • DayBreak
  • East End Community Services
  • Dayton Children’s Hospital
  • Dakota Center
  • Homefull

Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

1401 S. Main Street
Dayton, Ohio 45409