Month-Long Summer Immersion

Experience the college classroom and campus life, and earn college credit while you're at it. You'll spend a month on campus, living in residence halls where you'll get a taste of college life.

Applications Are Being Accepted Now

2020 Summer Academy Course Descriptions

Statistics and Food (10:50AM – 1:00PM)

Do you like food? Are you interested in issues concerning topics such as food industry, personal dietary choices, food marketing, and food shortages? In this course, you will learn how statistical methods are used to provide arguments for such issues and explanations for patterns that arise in the US today. And of course, food will be involved. You will read and reflect on articles involving food, use and create data sets concerning food, and even do a little bit of cooking!

An Edge to Science (8:30AM – 10:40AM)

The age of information has left us with few tools, and even less time, to follow-up, gather, and learn. In fact, much of this information is incomplete, primarily because the people who produce information are under the same tool and time problem as ourselves. This is particularly true in the astronomical sciences, where wonder, imagination, and awe are already easily fueled. In this age of hyper-information, how do we determine what is scientific truth and what is falsehood? Does science have an edge, and is an edge easily defined? What is meant by the concepts of evidence, law, and proof within the realm of science? At what point does science become pseudoscience, or even science fiction? We will examine a few concepts in astronomy (exoplanets, cosmology, and black holes), first introducing the established observations and science, while also inquiring about an edge to our current understanding. We will analyze data and observations in light of the concepts of extrapolation and interpolation, and we will recognize the influence of society on the process and presentation of science.

Nonviolence & Social Justice (1:00PM – 3:40PM)

This course asks the question “How can nonviolence promote social justice?” We will study important people in the history of nonviolent social activism, from the 19th century to the present, to see how they addressed injustice, how their ideas about nonviolence evolved, and how different cultural contexts have influenced nonviolent activism. We will examine the work of individuals, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King Jr., to discover not only that which is positive about their accomplishments, but also to consider how they were and have been criticized. We’ll ask our own questions about applying such methods today in the U.S. and globally. Our class will be a kind of microcosm of community, drawing upon your experiences and depending upon each other for the quality of our class discussion.

Slavic Folklore (1:30PM – 3:40PM)

Who are the Slavs, and what do we mean by “the Slavic folk”? What are the oldest and deepest beliefs of the Slavic folk? On what are they based? How does the folklore reflect a uniquely Slavic understanding of the world? How does history help illuminate the forms and functions of folklore among the Slavic people? Why is this folk culture important, and what can it tell us about ourselves today? In this course, we explore the root of Slavic folklore and mythology, and examine their impact on the lives of Slavic people in the pre-Christian and Christian eras. We will consider the categories and structures of Slavic folklore and see their manifestations in ritual, material culture, and oral lore, including visual representations in folk architecture, clothing, and crafts, many of them lasting well into the 19th century. The course covers the folklore of several Slavic groups, including Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Slovak, and Serbian.

Gods, Ghosts and Monsters in Asian Literature (10:50AM – 1:00PM)

Asian literature abounds with supernatural beings of all sorts—gods who hold grudges, monsters with 12 heads, hungry ghosts that wander the earth, and spiritual masters who can conquer all of them. These tales offer an excellent window into Asian religion and literature, because while they are fantastic (and fun to read), they make sense when read in the context of Asian belief systems. This class will survey Indian, Chinese, and Japanese religious and ethical worldviews as a foundation for reading the many genres of Asian literature. The class will consider the following questions: What ethical and religious beliefs help explain the nature of these gods and monsters? Why are people, gods, and monsters punished under these belief systems? What do the human protagonists learn about themselves? What do the supernatural characters teach us about the human condition?

Issues in American Politics (10:50AM – 1:00PM)

An introduction to the constitutional principles, institutions, functions, and processes of politics and government in the United States.

Elementary Spanish II (8:30AM – 10:00AM)
Would you like to strengthen your conversational Spanish skills?  Are you interested in learning more about how to write effectively in Spanish?  Would you like to build a greater cultural awareness so that you can discuss and understand everyday life in Spanish?  Here is a way to build those skills.  This course is a study of the essentials of Spanish grammar and basic vocabulary to promote speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Emphasis on developing the conversational skills and cultural awareness to handle topics of everyday life in Spanish.  Enrollment requires passing an introductory Spanish placement test.