Yale Young Global Scholars — a summer program for highly gifted high school students — will add two humanities-focused sessions to its course offerings this summer.
The two new sessions — Literature, Philosophy and Culture and Creative Arts and Media — mark the creation of a newly formed category of Humanities and Arts offered alongside the established sessions in STEM and the social sciences. In addition, YYGS will offer another section of a popular session, Politics, Law and Economics, due to high demand.
With the recent additions, YYGS will offer a total of 13 sessions in the 2019 summer, nine of which will be on Yale’s campus. Three sessions will be offered in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ghana as a part of the Yale Young African Scholars Program. One session will take place in China through YYGS-Beijing.
“Yale’s tradition in the arts, drama, literature, film and media, music, architecture and many other fields, will allow for an impressive introduction to Yale and an inspiring educational experience for YYGS students,” said Ted Wittenstein, executive director of YYGS. “The new sessions have been met with great enthusiasm from students, instructors and faculty.”
In New Haven, the program facilitates three blocks of summer programs, each lasting two weeks. YYGS is one of the largest summer employers of Yale undergraduates, graduate and professional students, who facilitate residential activities and teach seminars to the high school students. Last summer, approximately 1,400 participants lived in Davenport and Pierson Colleges over the course of the three sessions.
The curriculum additions come with logistical changes. The summer program will be based in three residential colleges — Pierson, Davenport and Jonathan Edwards — in the summer of 2019. According to Suzanne Shaw, the executive director of Yale Conferences and Events, YYGS will be her organization’s largest client by 2020. EXPLO at Yale, a summer program which takes place on multiple college campuses, will not return to Yale in the summer of 2020, and upon its leave, YYGS will assume the program’s current position on Old Campus.
The Literature, Philosophy and Culture session will allow students to compare written texts to understand how they interact with culture. The Creative Arts and Media session will utilize the University’s arts resources to engage students with a variety of mediums such as film, architecture and theater. Like the social science and STEM courses, the humanities sections will also feature lectures from Yale faculty members and a collaborative capstone project at the end of the program
“In all YYGS sessions, participants gain in-depth exposure to a particular area of interest through a two-week long collaborative project, under the mentorship and guidance of Yale undergraduate and graduate student instructors. YYGS is excited to engage potential undergraduate and graduate student instructors in the arts and humanities,” said John Whalen, humanities program manager for YYGS. “In the spring, YYGS will work with arts and humanities instructors to design the capstone projects for the coming summer.”
While YYGS will now feature another session of Politics, Law and Economics, YYGS will not add new sessions to its STEM offerings this summer. According to Wittenstein, the STEM sessions have expanded over the past three years. “YYGS will continue to develop these offerings in the years ahead,” he said.
YYGS will continue to offer international programs as part of its mission to engage global scholars. The program began pilots in Africa and Beijing in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
“Even for students who do not end up coming to Yale for college, their connections with YYGS and YYAS leave them and their families with a positive impression of Yale that they will carry with them,” said George Joseph, deputy director of the MacMillan Center, a co-sponsor for YYAS. “Getting them connected to Yale and U.S. higher education plays is an important consideration as they plan their future studies.”
YYGS was founded in 2001, under the name “Ivy Scholars.” The program, then run by International Security Studies, featured approximately 60 participants per year.
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