Bonner Leaders Program - Prospective Students


About the Program

The Bonner Program is intended to heighten the overall education you receive at Wagner College. This intensive, multi-year program asks you to engage in ongoing civic based work and helps you develop the experience, skills, knowledge, and values necessary to make your work meaningful and lasting.

Designed to enhance the students’ academic experiences by fostering real-world, community connections, the Bonner Program is made up of a unique cohort of driven and committed students. Marrying the Civic Engagement minor with this community immersive program allows students to graduate with a holistic skill set to best prepare them to be emerging leaders in their field.

Additional Information

Bonner Leaders are expected to:

  • Make community engagement and leadership development one of your highest priorities
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Perform up to 150 hours of civic engagement work through the academic year by serving an average of 6 hours a week in community-based internship placements
  • Engage in a 2 hour academic, reflective, and skill development based seminar every week, as well as all other scheduled events, individual meetings, and advising sessions
  • Declare and fulfill a Civic Engagement minor of study as a means to develop theory behind civic practice
  • Participate in any mandatory Bonner trips, events, and projects including a first year service trip, sophomore exchange, junior leadership, and senior capstone thesis
  • Attend summer and winter training and orientation weeks
  • Be college work-study eligible
    • Bonner positions are limited to students who qualify for Federal College Work-Study. In order to be considered for College Work-Study, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually. College Work-Study is need-based and is not guaranteed. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.
  • The Bonner Program fosters relationship development and inspires family values by creating a foundation of trust and empathy
  • Bonners have the opportunity to rely on one another, seek advice, and offer mentorship across all four of the 12 member cohorts
  • All Bonners participate in events, discussions, and readings focused on the following seven core commitments:
    • Community Building — Establish and sustain a vibrant community of place, personal relationships, and common interests on and off campus
    • Social Justice — Advocate for fairness, impartiality, and equity while addressing systemic, social, and environmental issues
    • International Perspective — Develop international understanding that enables us to participate successfully in a global society
    • Spiritual Exploration — Explore personal beliefs while respecting the spiritual practices of others
    • Diversity — Respect and embrace the many dimensions of diversity in our private and public lives
    • Civic Engagement — Participate intentionally as a citizen in the democratic process, actively engaging in public policy and direct service
    • Wellness — Dedicate time and energy to personal wellbeing, reflection, and internal growth as a strategy to be one’s best self
  • Role as leaders and active members in the campus community
  • Priority registration for coursework
  • Early move-in each semester
  • Network with local agencies and community based organizations for internships and job placement opportunities
  • Attend national conferences with the Bonner network, and connect with students from over 65 other colleges and universities nationwide
  • Earn up to 6 hours/ week of pay for service at community placements

Application Information & Timeline


Extended Application Timeline:

  • April 9, 2022 – Admitted Students’ Day
  • April 18, 2022 – Application deadline
  • April 18-22, 2022 – Interview period
  • April 25, 2022 – Application results announced

Apply for the Bonner Program here!

  • The Bonner Program application process consists of two components: the application short answer questions followed by a virtual interview. Once you select your date and time to interview, you will be prompted to complete the short answer questions as your application.
    • Short answer portion of the application will ask you to answer any three of the following questions in 300 words or less.
      1. Recount an experience you had through service in the community that made you want to learn more about something. What did you want to learn and how did you go about it?
      2. The Bonner Program is committed to the idea that students can change their world through service. What single social or public policy issue do you think is the most urgent crisis in your community and/or in today’s society at large and why?
      3. As we enter into partnerships with community agencies to create a more just world, our identities play an important role in informing our work. Describe how you identify and how your understanding of your identities informs your approach to community engagement (race, gender, class, sexuality, ability, first-generation and/or immigrant status are all examples of identities).
      4. Can service ever be selfless? Why or why not?
      5. How does service and civic engagement connect with your academic interests, your values, and your long-term goals?