Vanguard and Caldwell Communities of Scholars


The Vanguard and Caldwell Communities of Scholars are for highly motivated students who embody leadership skills and a desire to improve our world through science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These service leadership programs develop transformational leaders through professional development, community service and academic success opportunities over the course of four years. As members of the Vanguard and Caldwell communities, scholars benefit from vertically integrated support within the cohort, access to women faculty and campus leadership, in addition to financial assistance. The Caldwell students receive a full cost of tuition scholarship and are identified as students who demonstrate a commitment to the legacy and ideals of Florence Caldwell, the first woman to graduate from Mines in 1898.  Vanguard scholars receive a partial scholarship and are identified as students who will lead the way in making advances in STEM, for society, upon graduation.

The Vanguard and Caldwell Communities of Scholars program is made possible through guidance and resources provided by the Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (WISEM) Program at Mines. 

Vanguard & Caldwell Values

Aside from the professional and academic opportunities that come with the program, the Vanguard and Caldwell Scholars programs endorses five core values:

  • Support: Encourage and sustain women through actions and words.
  • Advocacy: Work to promote opportunities and success for girls and women in STEM.
  • Collaboration: Work together with others to achieve success.
  • Leadership: Lead the way to find innovative solutions to the Earth’s challenges.
  • Integrity: Incorporate honor and ethics into all areas of one’s academic, personal and professional life. 


  1. Provide a signature student experience that meets the needs of each Vanguard and Caldwell Scholar.
  2. Increase sense of belonging and connection on campus.
  3. Increase confidence in ability to achieve academic, personal and professional goals.
  4. Increase leadership skills.
  5. Greater affinity toward Mines.
  6. Increase confidence in written and verbal communication.
  7. Increase preparedness for working with individuals with diverse social identities. 


The Vanguard and Caldwell programs’ values and objectives set the structure for the Scholars communities. Feedback received, both informally throughout the academic year, and formally every May through an end-of year survey, help shape the evolution of the program.

View 2019-2023 evaluations

As part of the Vanguard and Caldwell communities, you will receive personal and professional development opportunities.

  • Enrollment in a special section of the Freshman Success Seminar (CSM 101) taught by a prominent leader on campus
  • Exclusive networking opportunities with Mines faculty and alumni who are changing the world through cutting-edge research
  • Mentorship, networking and professional development for leadership opportunities, internships, research positions, TA opportunities or on-campus jobs
  • Vanguards receive a $5,000 annual scholarship for four years for Colorado residents; non-resident students receive $7,500
  • The Caldwell Scholars receive a full cost of tuition scholarship


  • Invitation to apply for eligible candidates is in conjunction with the admissions process
  • Applications due March 1
  • Approximately 30 scholars are selected each year
  • Recipients must commit to the program by May 1, and enroll as a full-time student at Mines
  • Recipients must join the Mines Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
  • Maintain 2.5 GPA
  • Volunteer at two WISEM, Vanguard, Caldwell or SWE events per year or participate in one or more of the communities’ service projects


  • Must be a Colorado resident
  • Must plan to attend Mines beginning the fall semester after graduation
  • Must meet minimum GPA requirements set annually by the Admissions Office
  • Applications due February 1
  • Recipients must utilize Colorado Opportunity Funds (COF) along with scholarship

If you meet the qualifications and are invited to apply for the Florence Caldwell Scholarship, you will receive an invitation from Admissions containing a link to your Trailhead scholarship application portal.