Tulane University's high school Pre-College summer programs encourage the educational goals and career interests of today's academically talented youth. Designed specifically for the young social justice advocate, our Young Public Scholars Program allows students to expand on their knowledge, focus their vision, and contribute to real-world change.

Your Voice Will Be Heard!

Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts Young Public Scholars Program is a selective Pre-College program centered around students’ knowledge of complex global problems and their ability to affect change. The program offers students entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school the opportunity to preview the college classroom while diving deep into pressing issues of our time, their historical roots, and the most current frameworks for researching them.

Students will be inspired to create a public impact on the topic(s) they discuss in the program, which include:

Working with a professor and their peers, each student is challenged to hone their unique voice based on evidence obtained from their research and analysis. Afternoon workshops give students a media tool kit to enable students to communicate learning creatively and effectively through writing, photography, video, and audio clips. Each student will strive to reach over 3,000 weekly readers through publication in ViaNolaVie.org, New Orleans’ online culture magazine founded by local professional journalists. At the end of the experience, each student will have a digital portfolio to include in their résumés.

Program Highlights

Courses feature seminar discussions and collaborative projects. Students in different courses come together for select workshops, lunch breaks, and a closing reception for families.

All Public Scholars courses work together to deepen students’ understanding of complex global problems.

Students connect with the city of New Orleans through hands-on projects and engagements with the local community.

Instructors are all university faculty with professional media-making experience.

School of Liberal Arts Summer Session offers 4 different week-long courses in either a two-week residential option or a one-week day option for students who live in the greater New Orleans area. Students may take any course or pair of courses.

Explore Our Courses

Tulane's Young Public Scholars Program offers four different week-long courses in either a two-week residential option or a one-week day option. Students may take any course or pair of courses. Each week-long course features full days of seminar discussions and collaborative projects. Students in different courses come together for select workshops, lunch breaks, and a closing reception for families.

Popular Music as Social Critique

Music is a lens for thinking about gender, race, and sexuality in the context of a spectacle. Readings will include Beyoncé in Formation by Omise'eke Tinsley and music reviews. Students will experience live music in the city and write their own music review to publish on ViaNolaVie.

Instructor Christine Capetola (Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin) has been a professional freelancer and music critic on the intersections of music and identity for Bitch Magazine. With degrees in American Studies and Performance Studies, she puts female artists in focus. She’s a fan of Lana del Rey and Janet Jackson.

Punishment and Redemption From the Industrial Prison Complex

Louisiana leads the world historically in incarceration rates and now in criminal justice reform. Learn about the broad social impacts of a justice system rooted in inequalities and the struggles to reverse them. Students meet with formerly incarcerated activists while studying the structures for incarceration through film, video, and reportage and learn interview techniques in producing a profile for ViaNolaVie.

Instructor Betsy Weiss (M.F.A., San Francisco State University; M.S.W. Hunter College) trained as an experimental filmmaker and a social worker before blending these in a social justice documentary. Using collaborative oral histories as her method, she has worked with activists and artists to create social change through media.

Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene

Many layers of American history are written in the geographies of New Orleans and its surroundings. Students will learn how slavery is embedded in the scenery of public spaces and the construction of zones of exclusion, visit significant landscapes of environmental struggles, and learn first-person non-fiction techniques to write an op-ed to publish on ViaNolaVie. Readings include John McPhee, Rachel Carson, and other environmental essayists.

Instructor Dr. Ned Randolph (Ph.D., University of California, San Diego) worked as a reporter covering the region for The Advocate before leaving the newspaper business to study environmental infrastructures and the geography of the Mississippi. Recently, he has been investigating the roots of the area known as Cancer Alley.

Promoting the Arts Against Censorship

The arts have a long history as a bulwark against social injustice and a bullhorn for alternative futures. Students will explore short readings by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ursula Le Guin, and Simone de Beauvoir to discover ways in which art communicates identity and politics and visit a radio station in preparation to produce short audio pieces for ViaNolaVie.

Instructor Kelley Crawford (M.F.A. candidate, University of New Orleans) is co-founder and editor of ViaNolaVie, a professor at Tulane and Bard Early College, and a radio journalist and host on WWNO, the local NPR affiliate. Her profiles with local artists and entrepreneurs are a weekly staple in local media outlets. In her free time, you can find her participating in inventive public art performances.

Let your voice be heard with Tulane's high school Pre-College summer programs! Apply now for the Young Public Scholars Program.

Founded in 1834, Tulane University has the academic traditions and background in the scientific fields, humanities, and the arts to ensure the excellence of its programs. Dedicated staff and faculty, ties to the local community, and hands-on learning come together to provide a transformative educational experience for Pre-College students.

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