Scholars Program Application & Criteria

An application form, a laptop, and a pen sit on a white desk.

Applications for the Ruth Harris Scholars program typically open in January of each year and have a March deadline. Past application requirements are provided below. 

As a part of this Program, the Virginia Department of Education collaborates with VCU teacher education students (i.e., special education, elementary or secondary education) who are Ruth Harris Scholars to provide:

  • 30-hour training (spring/summer) at no cost, provided by the Virginia Department of Education.
  • 20-25 hours of tutoring under the supervision of Orton Gillingham certified classroom educators in the fall semester and receive a $500 stipend from T/TAC upon completion of Fall tutoring responsibilities
  • 1,000 scholarship from the Ruth Harris endowment funds upon completing fall tutoring responsibilities

Interested students must be eligible for acceptance into Teacher Preparation (or already accepted) with at least 1 year remaining of coursework in the upcoming academic year


  • Interest in reading instruction
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA and in good academic standing
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities
  • Strong communication and interpersonal relations skills
  • Commitment to advancing access, equity, and quality education for underrepresented learners within low-resource communities, including a commitment to addressing diversity, inclusion, social justice, and equity in education/special education
  • Commitment to participate in all training dates
  • Recommendation from a faculty member that addresses your leadership qualities, communication and interpersonal skills, promise for classroom instruction, and commitment to supporting and advancing equity in education.