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Lookout Scholars

Lookout Scholars is a collaborative learning community developing Carolina Firsts as citizen-leaders. We value diverse perspectives and experiences, community, campus engagement, leadership, collaborative learning and a supportive yet challenging environment.


Watch Seven Lookout Scholars connect their first generation college student identities with the idea of crossing borders in a global, research experience across Arizona and Mexico.


By combining an academic cohort, faculty mentoring, and peer coaching, our vision is to ensure that every Lookout Scholar:

  • Thrives academically, socially, and emotionally
  • Develops Effective Leadership Skills
  • Builds a support network of peers and mentors
  • Effectively engages with the campus community and high impact practices like undergraduate research, internships and global opportunities


Lookout Scholars will take a set of standard courses together as a cohort, and will find a very supportive staff and peer community dedicated to helping them navigate their college experience.

All Lookout Scholars will:

  • Enroll in courses as a community
  • Be matched with a peer coach
  • Meet regularly with the Lookout Scholars Director, who will help them create a plan for meeting their academic goals


Integrating Cohort Learning and Mentorship

Academic cohort models have been linked to higher student retention rates, better GPAs, and an increased feeling of belonging. In this program, handpicked instructors who care deeply about the success of first-year students teach all courses designated for Lookout Scholars. And with built-in peer support, Lookout Scholars quickly develop a sense of community, which greatly enhances their transition to UNC.

Deepening Student/Faculty Relationships

Our faculty also gain significant benefits from participating in the Lookout Scholars program. In addition to having the opportunity to support a dynamic and diverse group of Carolina Firsts Students, the cohort model enables faculty to experience the satisfaction of getting to know students on a deeper level.

What Defines a Lookout Scholar?

Our ideal Lookout Scholar is an incoming first-generation college student (a Carolina First). You’ve worked hard, and now we want to help navigate your future together!