W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute: 2021 Online Summer Program

In light of the pandemic, our traditional in-person program will not be offered this summer. Instead, listed below you will find a schedule, consisting of course titles and descriptions for the 2021 W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute: Online Summer Program! This online program will provide a unique and notable educational opportunity, which includes college-level classes designed to strengthen and reinforce both your scholarly interests and academic development. The classes will be taught by highly respected members of the Institute’s faculty from distinguished academic and research institutions throughout the country.

Students can apply for more than one course. However, given that space in each course is limited to 20 students, finalists will be assigned to a course before additional courses are granted. Each course runs for 7 class days (EXCLUDING WEEKENDS). The total cost for each student participating in the Online Summer Program will be $300.00 per course. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a digital certificate of program completion. Please note the time for rolling admissions has officially passed. The Institute is no longer accepting applications for the program.


Students participating in the Online Summer Program can select from the following curricular offerings: 
All courses below are subject to change.

Pre-Scholar Online Course Offerings

P Courses Final

Pre-Scholar Online Course Descriptions

Introduction to Biology


Effective Writing
Session 1: June 28th - July 6th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
Effective Writing is an introduction to reading and writing on the college level that focuses on the skills needed to become analytical, serious, and effective writers. This course will familiarize students with texts written by notable thinkers and/or writers (past and present) committed to social impartiality, and make students cognizant of the cultural and political conversations that are dominating societies across the globe. While learning what it truly means to read and think critically, students will also realize how writing is an influential tool in eliminating many of the injustices plaguing our world today. Lastly, students will leave this summer knowing how to explore and develop an idea; write a sound response (argument) to a text.



Critical Reading

Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to discuss why social change is needed now more than ever and how it happens. As more and more of our lives and the world moves to online spaces, the ability to critically engage with and analyze digital sources has become a vital skill. This course aims to equip students with the critical reading skills necessary to engage with digital sources. Students will read a variety of digital texts, including digital exhibits, blogs, and essays written for popular audiences. They will develop strategies for identifying an author’s argument, the quality of the evidence used by authors to support it, and how they interpret their evidence.


Math Logic

Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
We often learn the fundamentals of math in school, but don’t always see how solving equations and understanding algebra will be useful in our future careers. In this course, we discover how mathematical logic is used to solve everyday challenges in many fields - scientific, medical, and even political. We will take our mathematical training into the real world by applying problem solving tools we know from school to help us answer scientific questions, analyze experimental data, and even start to understand some bigger questions which are not traditionally considered to be scientific or mathematical. This course will help students add more techniques to their mathematical toolbox in addition to testing their creativity in problem solving. We will look at theoretical problems, but many classes will contain an experimental component, allowing students to collect and analyze their own scientific data.



Getting to Know the Self 

Session 3: July 16th - July 26th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
This course will explore the subject of self and social change. Considering social constructions like race, religion and gender, we seek to answer questions like: How have social constructions shaped our character development and consciousness? In what ways are individuals socialized within their families, among friends, and larger society? What are twenty-first century concerns and how might we address them in a way that affirms all life forms — human and nonhuman?  This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to discuss why social change is needed now more than ever and how it happens.

Introductory Analysis: A Long Black Freedom Struggle (African American History)

Session 3: July 16th - July 26th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
This survey course will present an overview of African American history from the moment of emancipation through the post-civil rights era. This course examines how African Americans have engaged in a persistent and consistent effort for freedom by exploring the challenges and advancements of African Americans from emancipation through the twentieth century. It will also detail how historical thought about these periods has changed and how the narrative of African American history both adds to and challenges the generally understood narrative of American History.

Scholar Online Course Offerings & Descriptions
S Courses3


Math Modeling
Session 1: June 28th - July 6th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST

We learn the theory of mathematics in school, but is it ever useful in real life? This course explores the many ways in which math plays an integral part of our lives. In this class, students will learn about mathematical models and how they apply to everyday life. We will learn how to design, test, and evaluate mathematical models in order to solve complex problems. Students will apply mathematical models to theoretical problems and also develop empirical  models through experiment. Example problems solved in this class range from scientific questions taken from biology and physics, to everyday problems, such as: where should I go to college? What’s the real cost of recycling?

We Create Them, We Solve Them: Contemporary Social Problems

Session 1: June 28th - July 6th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
This course presents fundamental sociological concepts, theories and methods used to analyze and study major social problems in contemporary society. We will examine issues including: the origins of deviant behaviors, such as crime; structured inequalities surrounding race, class, and gender; healthcare systems; the impact of music on teen behavior; and how the American educational system maintains and (re)produces social inequities . Students will write a short individual essay using a sociological framework to analyze and manage a social problem of their own choosing. Topics may include issues ranging from the impact of virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic on maintaining friendships; to managing self-esteem through social media responses such as the amount of "likes" and "tags" a user receives.receives.

"The Power Place": African American History & Cultural Practices

Session 1: June 28th - July 6th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
This course illuminates the relationship between African American history and culture. Moving chronologically from slavery through the Modern Black Freedom Movement, this course explores the development of African American culture and African American efforts for full citizenship by highlighting the history of key cites and places. This course outlines and analyzes significant moments in the formation of African American identity and culture.



Introduction to Molecular Biology
Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST

All living organisms are composed of molecules that allow life to occur. In this course, students will learn about the foundations of molecular biology and the molecular processes that underlie the discipline of biology. This includes an in depth study of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates – their structures, functions, and roles. Additionally students will explore the ‘Central Dogma’ of molecular biology, gain an understanding of transcription, translation, DNA replication. Students will also gain an understanding of cellular respiration and photosynthesis.

Leadership Typologies

Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
This course will provide students with a rigorous introduction to various models of leadership. More specifically, we will focus on theories, methodologies, and conceptual frameworks pertaining to leadership styles and traditions. We will explore the application and praxis of leadership, which will entail lectures, virtual exercises, and training in interviewing, public presentations, and professional web presence. In addition, students will develop skills that will enhance their individual leadership profiles through the construction of resumes, cover letters, written statements, etc. The course will culminate with a leadership portfolio/dossier, which will include various elements that the students will be able to use as they prepare for school leadership roles, college and internship applications, community and public service. 

Ethics & Self Development

Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
This course will provide an interdisciplinary introduction of central theories in moral philosophy. We will explore concepts about what morality is and what moral language means. Second, we will discern moral frameworks that can be used in order to work out what kinds of actions are good and bad, right and wrong. Third, we will apply ethical theories to specific cases. In order to achieve these objectives, each student is expected to demonstrate their critical thinking abilities, both orally and in writing.  Students are also expected to reflect upon ethical ideas together with a commitment to developing their morality and exhibit openness to learning and respectful attitudes to the views of others.

The Mathematics of Population Dynamics

Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
This course provides an introductory, yet concise development of population models and predator-prey systems.  We will examine the fundamental ideas of linear algebra including: systems of linear equations, introduction to vectors and matrices, elementary row operations, matrix equations, matrix inverses and operations, and applications of linear systems. Students will be introduced to online, computational tools that will assist in complex computations. Topics will include population models with migration and the population dynamics of the spotted owl from juvenile, subadult to adult stages of life. Additionally, students will utilize a linear, discrete, dynamical system to model the “circle of life” between spotted owls and the dusky-footed wood rats that provide 80% of their diet in the redwood forests of California.



The Criminalization of Black Migrants in the U.S.
Session 3: July 16th - July 26th | 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM EST

(Please note the time for this course was recently changed from 1:00 PM-2:30 PM EST to 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM EST)
After the 2016 presidential election in particular, the topic of immigration has taken center stage in the current political climate with much contested debate around who should and should not be allowed in the United States. Within this context, politics and media often overlook that Black migrants of the African Diaspora are disproportionately subjected to criminalization, incarceration, and labor exploitation. This is due to the fact that the United States has historically approached immigration rights through the lens of a racist criminal justice system. From the painful forced displacement of the Middle Passage and the Great Migration, the criminalization of Black migrants has been central to the history of anti-Blackness and immigration rights in the United States.


Anatomy & Physiology

Session 3: July 16th - July 26th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
The focus of this course is to develop a basic understanding of the anatomy and physiology of some of the systems of the human body. Students will learn basic human anatomy and physiology with emphasis in skeletal, muscular and nervous systems, and gain an understanding of the interrelationships of these three systems. Furthermore, students will understand the role of exercise, prevention, and disease on the functioning of the above systems.


Academic Composition & Critical Reading

Session 3: July 16th - July 26th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
In this course, students will examine how rhetoric works to shape a variety of texts across multiple genres. The term “rhetoric” helps to explain how a text--verbal or visual--communicates a specific message to a specific audience in a specific context.Students will engage in analytic writing to explore relationships between ideas and how parts of texts help contribute to an author’s overall message. To this end, students will engage texts in order to describe and evaluate the choices writers make and then apply that knowledge to their own compositions. 

Physics
Session 3: July 16th - July 26th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST

This course provides a broad and rigorous introduction to physics that can be applied to fields such as engineering.  Topics include vectors, motion in straight line, motion in two- and three-dimension, work and kinetic energy, energy conservation, momentum and impulse, rotation of rigid bodies, dynamics of rotational motion, equilibrium, elasticity, gravitation, and periodic motion. Moreover, students will gain knowledge and techniques on how to solve problems related to the following topics: motion, force, work, laws of conservation, and energy.