Centennial Scholars Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the program?
The APTA Centennial Scholars Program is designed to build a cadre of future association leaders at both the component and national levels. Demonstrating APTA’s investment in the sustainability of the association as it begins its next 100 years, the program will support our collective quest for a diverse and prepared leadership pool.

How would you describe the program?
The 12-month program will run throughout 2021 with a goal of engaging 100 scholars, including the goal of at least one scholar sponsored by each of APTA’s 71 components. The curriculum will cover association leadership and management topics and be delivered through three face-to-face meetings and regularly scheduled virtual learning experiences. Additionally, scholars will work directly with their sponsoring components or stakeholders to design and complete a capstone project that addresses an existing need as determined by the component. Scholars will also benefit from the guidance of Centennial Scholar mentors who will work directly with the scholars in small groups to support the completion of their projects.

What are the benefits of the program to the participants?
Benefits for Scholars
• Expand awareness of issues and challenges facing APTA and the association community
• Increase leadership skills and recognize arenas in which unique contributions may be applied
• Make an immediate positive impact through their capstone projects
• Network with fellow APTA leaders on a personal and professional level

Benefits for Sponsoring Components
• Develop a future leadership pipeline
• Address a component need through the capstone project
• Engage and empower the next generation of association members
• Showcase the component’s commitment to the long-term sustainability of the physical therapy profession and the association

How many people will be accepted into the program?
APTA will accept 100 scholars. All APTA components will be able to sponsor at least one scholar to the program. After all components who wish to participate have named their first scholars, additional scholars may be sponsored on a first-come, first-accepted basis up to the total number of 100 scholars.

Who is eligible to be a scholar?
Any APTA member in good standing is eligible to be a scholar. Scholars must commit to attend the three inperson events and the virtual learning experiences; scholar travel and lodging is included in the program fees.

How will the scholars be selected?
Selection criteria is entirely up to the component or sponsoring organization. Components may use any criteria they wish to select an APTA member who they want to prepare to be a future association leader.

What are some criteria that components may wish to consider when selecting a scholar?
• Components should consider their own leadership needs when selecting a scholar. Leadership development goals might include diversity, a specific position on the Board, or certain leadership roles (committee chairs, PAC)
• Components may wish to consider selecting a member who is in an early leadership role and who could benefit from additional leadership development, or perhaps someone on the cusp of moving into a leadership position
• Scholars should demonstrate a commitment to being a future leader; candidate sees themselves staying active with the sponsoring component for at least 3-5 years
• Scholars should value and demonstrate a team approach/orientation
• Scholars should demonstrate a strong work ethic
• Scholars should demonstrate a commitment to developing/advancing the sponsoring organization’s strategic priorities
• Scholars should have the ability to fulfill the commitment required by the program (three in-person meetings, virtual learning experiences, regular check-ins with the sponsoring organization, completion of a capstone project)

What are some ways components can select their scholar?
• Components may choose to identify specific criteria that their scholar should meet
• Components may want to do a “call for volunteers” and plan an interview or vetting process to select their scholar; consider using a selection committee. APTA Engage can be used as a platform to help facilitate the call for volunteers
• Components may want to create an application to assess the how the candidate can meet the suggested criteria; APTA has provided a sample application to help
• Components may want to include a question for the candidate to share how he or she can contribute to the diversity of the component’s leadership

When do components need to select their scholar?
Components can begin to submit the names of their sponsored scholars on July 1; a form will be provided to all components to submit the information to APTA. The window to name the first scholar will close on September 1. After September 1, any additional openings for scholars will be released to components seeking to name an additional scholar on a first-come, first-accepted basis.

What is expected of the components who sponsor a scholar?
• Components should plan to have regular contact with their scholar to give guidance and feedback on capstone projects and to share the strategic priorities of the component
• Components may want to assign someone (e.g., current or past Board member; Centennial Ambassador) to be the official component point of contact with the scholar
• Components may want to invite their scholar to be a guest at a Component Board meeting to report on their engagement in the program and progress of their capstone projects

What are some examples of capstone projects that components and scholars could consider?
• Select a goal or objective from your strategic plan that can be developed and/or implemented by your scholar
• Investigate current trends in association management and apply one to your component’s operations
• Develop a new membership value proposition and draft an implementation strategy for your component
• Create a new program or initiative to improve member engagement in your component
• Draft a strategy to overhaul an underperforming component program that is deemed to otherwise be a high-value program that is worth continuing
• Play a key role in planning a strategic planning meeting using best practices in strategic planning
• Use component archival materials to create a component history that identifies key events and initiatives over time
• Plan and coordinate an advocacy day event

What will be the program curriculum? (Subject to change)
• Essential association leadership skills
• Strategic planning
• The future of associations; challenges all associations will face
• Delivering value to members
• Mission and vision and why these things are important
• Board roles and responsibilities for non-profit organizations
• Individual capstone projects

What are the key dates to keep in mind?
• July 1 2020: APTA will begin accepting names of scholars from components
• September 1, 2020: Window closes for submission of 1st scholar from each component
• September 2, 2020: Additional scholars may be submitted by any component on a first-submitted, first selected basis until the maximum of 100 scholars is reached
• September-December 2020: Scholars begin working with their sponsors to define capstone projects
• January 16, 2021: First meeting of scholars and mentors during Founders’ Day Weekend (New York, NY)
• April 2021 (exact date TBD): Second meeting of scholars and mentors at APTA’s new headquarters (Alexandria, VA)
• September 12, 2021: Third meeting of scholars and mentors during Centennial Gala Weekend (Washington, DC)

What are the fees for the program?
The fees for the program are based on funding travel, lodging, and meals for 100 scholars and 25 mentors; hiring subject matter experts as speakers on key topics in association management; and additional fees such as meeting space, A/V, and other associated programming costs.
• $5,000 per scholar, inclusive of all travel and lodging expenses for three face-to-face meetings
• Components with annual budgets less than $100,000 will receive a $2,000 subsidy from APTA (final cost: $3,000 per scholar for the first scholar)
• All other components will receive a $1,000 subsidy from APTA (final cost: $4,000 per scholar for the first scholar)
• Components wishing to sponsor more than one scholar will be able to do so for $5,000 each (no subsidy) on a first-come, first-accepted basis (until the program reaches 100 scholars)

When do components need to pay for their scholars?
APTA is providing components with multiple options to submit payment for sponsorship of a Centennial Scholar. Options include a one-time payment, quarterly payments throughout 2021, and deferred payment until 2022. For additional information, please contact Allyson Pahmer at allysonpahmer@apta.org