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Young Public Scholars

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 virtual 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:

  • Climate Change
  • Social Inequalities
  • Inclusive Diversity
  • Restorative Justice

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. Students will receive 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, 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

  • All Public Scholars courses work together to deepen students’ understanding of complex global problems.
  • Instructors are all university faculty with professional media-making experience.
  • School of Liberal Arts Summer Session offers two virtual two-week course options—ideal for busy families

Explore Our Courses

Tulane's Young Public Scholars Program offers two, virtual two-week course options. Students may take either course or both courses.

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.


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