Instructors

Brown Pre-College and Undergraduate Programs provide invaluable professional development opportunities for both beginning and well-established educators.

The Division of Pre-College and Undergraduate Programs provides academic opportunities for high school and undergraduate students. The Division engages throughout the year with students from around the world in intellectually and socially formative and challenging experiences in and out of the classroom with a diverse group of peers, instructors, coaches and staff. Brown University’s commitment to independent thinking, critical engagement and personal and community responsibility is manifested in our academically rigorous programs, serving a wide range of students.

Brown Pre-College Programs

Vision Statement

Brown University Pre-College Programs provide students intellectually and socially formative and challenging experiences in and outside of the classroom. Our students learn with a diverse group of peers, instructors and staff in an academically rigorous environment aligned with Brown’s commitment to independent thinking, critical engagement and personal and community responsibility. Students leave their pre-college programs intellectually changed, with a deeper awareness of their own abilities and interests, a broadening of their knowledge of the great diversity of perspectives and experiences and an appreciation of how much more there is to learn.

Mission Statement

Brown University’s Pre-College Program provides students with an educational journey that mirrors what they can expect to experience as they apply to and attend college. Through a thoughtful application process, selection of courses from curricula representative of the best of liberal arts study and engagement with fellow students, instructors and staff who hail from varied backgrounds, students leave their programs with new knowledge, capacities, friends and a broader understanding of their world.

Overview

  • Much like Brown’s undergraduate open curriculum, our Pre-College Programs aim to create student-centered learning experiences and shift student focus away from formal grades and credits towards the learning itself.
  • Over 300 courses are offered, ranging in length from one to five weeks and are designed and taught at a first-year college level.
  • Brown Pre-College Programs attract roughly 6,000 exceptional, engaged and motivated high school students each year.

Pre-College Program Areas

Summer@Brown is the largest of Brown’s Pre-College Program Areas, featuring well over 200 non-credit courses offered in intensive sessions – both on campus and online – ranging from one to six weeks in duration over multiple terms across the summer. Courses offered span the broad range of academic disciplines at Brown, intentionally reflecting the breadth and depth of Brown’s undergraduate, liberal arts curriculum. Courses are designed to expose high school students to first year undergraduate content, with the attendant academic rigor, and are non-credit in order to encourage students to take risks and to explore unfamiliar subjects. Online courses take advantage of the benefits of online learning and technology to bring together the best aspects of seminar-style learning in an asynchronous learning environment. A robust extra-curricular program – offered to both on campus and online students – supplements the academic core of the program, providing students with broad exposure to the experience of living and learning as part of a college community. Students enrolling in these courses must have completed the 9th grade and are drawn from all 50 United States and some 70 countries worldwide.

Summer@Brown: Course-Based Research Experiences (CREs) provide instructors the opportunity to guide Pre-College students through the process of proposing and conducting independent research, building from questions that are currently unanswered by science. Instructors interested in facilitating a Pre-College CRE will design a course that provides the student a research challenge for which the answers are unknown, supports them in a five week hybrid course  and culminates in an opportunity for the student to present and disseminate their findings. The curriculum should be necessarily fluid, with students finding success and experiencing failure as they progress – much like a true research lab. Click here to learn more about CREs.

Summer@Brown for English Language Learning offers courses across a broad range of academic disciplines, taught by instructors proficient in teaching non-native speakers of English. Instructors teaching these courses are familiar with the linguistic challenges of English language learners, and develop their syllabi to include substantial opportunities for students to exercise their listening, public speaking, reading and academic writing skills.

Brown Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL) combines concepts in environmental studies, ecology and leadership, with a mission of developing socially responsible leaders. At BELL, students develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to create positive change on environmental issues facing their local communities and the planet as a whole. BELL students engage with a wide variety of content, including work in environmental science, social science and leadership development. Lessons focus on experiential and place-based learning, drawing on the environment surrounding the student as a living laboratory where they can explore the concepts introduced and discussed in the course. Students enrolling in these non-credit courses must have completed the 9th grade, and are drawn from all 50 United States and some 70 countries worldwide.

The Leadership Institute believes that all students have the capacity to effect positive change for their communities. This innovative program integrates three foundational components: study of a compelling academic topic, exploration of socially responsible leadership and development of a meaningful action plan. Courses – on campus and online – utilize an interdisciplinary approach to explore complex, contemporary social issues of pressing global interest. Brown faculty and graduate student instructors work closely with the program director to develop a course syllabus that effectively integrates and supports programmatic goals, including the development of an Action Plan. Students enrolling in these non-credit courses must have completed the 9th grade, and are drawn from all 50 United States and some 70 countries worldwide.

Location-Based Programs are immersive and rigorous academic experiences. Program sites are carefully selected to enhance course content. The connection between site and course content offers students a rich experiential learning experience. The programs’ interdisciplinary approach help prepare students for the increasingly complex challenges of the 21st century by exploring the interconnectedness of the global community and exposing students to varied perspectives.

STEM for Rising 9th and 10th Graders is an immersive academic experience that allows students to explore the STEM disciplines. Students can indulge their passion for learning as they dive into content in science, technology, engineering or mathematics focused courses. The courses provide students with some understanding of the foundational material for that discipline from which they can springboard to areas for exploration such as more advanced content or current areas of research. In addition to the academic experience, students participate in supplemental programming that promotes and supports social and academic growth as they prepare for success in their future academic experiences. The students spend time working on a comprehensive academic project and the program culminates in a final presentation of their work.

Pre-Baccalaureate Program for rising or recently-graduated High School Seniors. Pre-Baccalaureate students enroll in credit courses alongside Brown and visiting undergraduates in the University’s Summer Session.

Undergraduate Summer Session

Summer Session extends the undergraduate curriculum into a seven-week session in the summer. Offering a wide range of courses across the disciplines, Summer Session provides students an intensive learning experience.

Pre-College Instructor Workshops

Upcoming 2023 workshops will be announced soon.

Instructor Resources

There are a number of resources available to instructors to assist in designing engaging residential, online and blended courses.

Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning

The Sheridan Center promotes evidence-based teaching to create an inclusive environment where all learners can succeed. To encourage innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration, the Sheridan Center cultivates dynamic partnerships with all members of Brown’s teaching and learning communities. The Center advances effective liberal learning, encourages ongoing professional development and fosters reflective teaching and learning.

For Pre-College instructors, The Sheridan Center offers various resources including consulting services, access to teaching resources and certificate or workshop programs throughout the academic year.

For more information, please contact the Sheridan Center at 401-863-1219 or Sheridan_Center@Brown.edu.

Digital Learning and Design

Digital Learning & Design (DLD) is a team of learning designers, technologists and media professionals who aim to help instructors innovate, expand their reach and deepen their impact through teaching and engagement. DLD partners with instructors to create engaging learning experiences and design captivating online, residential and blended courses.

Canvas Course Management System

Canvas is Brown’s online course management system and offers tools to supplement an instructor’s course syllabus, including: content upload, collaboration, student communications, assignments and assessments.

Brown Writing Center

The Writing Center provides writing assistance for all members of the Brown community. Staffed by graduate students from a variety of disciplines who are experienced in writing and teaching and undergo ongoing training. Associates are prepared to review a variety of types of writing and to discuss your specific writing concerns. Individual conferences are available as well as workshop sessions. Walk-in hours are available, but appointments in advance are preferable. For more information, please call 401-863-3524.

Brown University Libraries

The Brown University libraries are a wonderful resource for both instructors and students. Summer instructors have access to the Online Course Reserves Access (OCRA) to request digital and physical course reserves for articles, book excerpts, audio and video materials.

University libraries also offer independent or collaborative study and work spaces for students, in addition to subject specialists who can assist with their academic work. Instructors are encouraged to steer their students to take advantage of the University Libraries extensive resources.

Over the summer, University Libraries operate on a restricted schedule. Check here  for the most-up-to-date hours of operation.

Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology is Brown University’s teaching and research museum. A resource across the university, the Haffenreffer Museum inspires creative and critical thinking about culture by fostering interdisciplinary understanding of the material world. The Museum also provides opportunities for faculty and students to work with collections and the public, teaching through objects and programs in classrooms, in the CultureLab in Manning Hall, and at the Collections Research Center. 2

The Heffenreffer Museum is an incredible way to enhance your curriculum and course content.  If you are interested in incorporating a visit or guided experience to the museum into your summer course, please contact pcugcourses@brown.edu.

The 2023 Teaching Award Application will open in early spring 2023.

The Reginald D. Archambault Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes, rewards and promotes excellence in teaching in the Division of Pre-College and Undergraduate Programs. The award is named in recognition of Reginald D. Archambault, Professor of Education emeritus and inaugural Dean of Summer Studies, 1984-1992. Professor Archambault served as Chair of Brown’s Education Department from 1967 through the early eighties, contributing greatly to the M.A.T. program and developing the Brown Summer High School as a teaching laboratory. He remains dedicated to advancing the craft of pedagogy.

2022 Teaching Award Winners

Alexa Derman
Recipient of the 2022 Reginald D. Archambault Award for Teaching Excellence in Summer Session Education

This year’s Reginald D. Archambault Award for Teaching Excellence in Undergraduate Summer Session Education recipient is Alexa Derman, who taught the course, “Playwriting I: Voice and Form” this past summer.

Alexa developed and facilitated a rigorous and approachable course with clear learning goals and scaffolded learning opportunities where students were asked to be critical thinkers and find their own voice as playwrights. The student work was thoughtful and evolved over time as they met the goals Alexa set forth. Students gained a more thorough understanding of their own writing, learned how to give constructive feedback and presented deep analyses of the texts they were reading.  

Alexa created an inclusive student-centered learning experience with a living curriculum, seeking student feedback to modify and enhance the course as it was progressing. Incorporating a variety of diverse content to help students challenge their own traditional notions of playwriting, Alexa created a space where each voice was honored and considered important and worthy of consideration and discussion. The commitment Alexa demonstrated to provide critical, reflective and guiding feedback to the students resulted in a truly impactful experience with student evaluations providing immense praise for the course.

Falaks Vasa
Recipient of the 2022 Reginald D. Archambault Award for Teaching Excellence in Pre-College Education

This year’s Reginald D. Archambault Award for Teaching Excellence in Pre-College Education recipient is Falaks Vasa, who taught the course, “Queer Strategies of Resistance: Fools, Tricksters, Shapeshifters” this past summer.

Falaks developed and facilitated a rigorous, approachable and unique course. They presented students with a significant challenge: to set and be accountable for their own goals and growth within the course. This challenge allowed the students to become deeply engaged as co-facilitators of the academic experience. Falaks used a Social Location Acknowledgement tool to provide students with insight about who they were and how to value each student as an individual uniquely poised to contribute and co-create an incredible learning environment.

By using various curricular elements such as crafting shared community guidelines, Falaks built and facilitated an inclusive environment where students were asked to design and create a space that was ideal for learning. This intentional effort resulted in a classroom experience where students participated as their authentic selves and contributed thoughtfully to the work at hand. Students provided significant praise for this course and described a sense of unity built by the group as the course progressed.

Brown Pre-College: Teaching Opportunities and Course Proposal Workshop

If you were unable to attend the Teaching Opportunities and Course Proposal workshop held on September 29, you can view the webinar below.

View Workshop Recording

Please email pcugcourses@brown.edu if you are unable to attend and want to learn more.

What is Brown Pre-College?

Brown University Pre-College Programs provide students intellectually and socially formative and challenging experiences in and out of the classroom with a diverse group of peers, instructors and staff. Courses provide an academically rigorous environment aligned with Brown’s commitment to independent thinking, critical engagement and personal and community responsibility. Students leave their pre-college programs intellectually stimulated having been exposed to a great diversity of perspectives and experiences and with an appreciation of how much more there is to learn.

Summer 2023 Programs

Brown Pre-College Programs attract roughly 6,000 exceptionally engaged and motivated high school students. More than 300 courses are offered, ranging in length from one to six weeks. A more detailed program snapshot can be found here

We anticipate offering all of our programs to Pre-College students, including Summer@Brown (includes courses with Summer@Brown English Language Learners and Summer@Brown Course-Based Research Experiences), the Leadership Institute, STEM for Rising 9th and 10th Graders, Brown Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL) and a range of Location-Based Learning Programs across the globe. 

Why Teach with Us?

Teaching with Brown Pre-College Programs provides invaluable professional development opportunities, whether one is just beginning a career or is a well-established educator.

Teaching in our programs provides instructors opportunities to:

  • Design one’s own course
  • Experiment with new curricular or pedagogical methods
  • Practice the craft of teaching in a highly supportive environment
  • Enhance one’s professional development through workshops focused on best practices and effective teaching strategies

Pre-College instructors experience the energizing joy of teaching bright and engaged high school students who are embracing the challenges of college-level learning. The students’ journey mirrors what they can expect to experience as they apply to and attend college.

To be considered, students partake in a thoughtful application process that culminated with selecting courses of study from a broad variety of disciplines found in the liberal arts. They engage with fellow students, instructors and staff who hail from varied backgrounds and lived experiences. Students gain new knowledge, skills, friends and a broader understanding of their world. They leave the programs inspired to take the next steps on their academic career.

Eligibility

All Brown faculty, graduate students, post-docs, staff with appropriate credentials and teaching experience and Tougaloo College faculty are eligible to propose a course. Non-Brown affiliated educators may likewise propose to teach with us, though preference is given to those currently affiliated with the University.

Propose a Course

Prior to proposing a new course:

  • Familiarize yourself with the programs we offer. Program goals as well as the intended student audience differs between programs, and proposals should be aligned accordingly. 
  • Review the 2022 course catalog to view prior course offerings in your academic area as well as identify gaps in our curriculum. 

Consider your own interests, experience and availability.  Courses across our programs can be taught in two formats: online and in person and the hours of direct student interaction and engagement differ between programs.    

After you submit, you may hear back from a Pre-College Program Director with questions or suggestions, including feedback about your course materials, questions about course learning outcomes or suggestions on format for your course (i.e., length, online vs. in-person, etc.).

Summer 2023 Course Proposal Dates and Deadlines

Proposal Review Timeline
New Course Proposal Opens September 2022
Proposal Deadline October 24, 2022

Course Proposal Guidelines and Template

Course Name
(80 characters max, including spaces)
Note that students select courses in large part based on the title.
Make yours catchy and understandable for a lay audience!
Synopsis
(500 characters max, including spaces)
A brief and engaging description of the course content, typically as short as 1-3 sentences. This is what will appear in the catalog to entice students to click further and read the full course description. (This text will not show in your full course description.)
Course Description
(500 words max)
  • Course Introduction (Overarching Theme and Main Objective)
  • Course Focus
    • What material will be covered (i.e., theories, principles, concepts, topics)?
    • How will students engage with the material throughout the course?
    • Are there elements that make this course unique?
  • Establish Learning Goals: In a bulleted list form, outline 3-5 areas of knowledge, skills and/or expertise the students will gain through completing this course successfully.
  • Conclusion: How does the course provide a foundation for further study?
Course prerequisite(s)
*optional
Being clear on the academic background you expect your students to have crucial to the success of your course. Indicate as clearly as you can your expectations of any prior knowledge, level of content proficiency or maturity level your course will require. (e.g., High school biology, second year algebra, AP or honors level English, etc. and/or the high school grade level and/or age of students who enroll in this course).
Proposed length of course What length do you envision for this course?

Submit a course proposal for Pre-College!

Teaching in the Summer Session Program

Brown’s Summer Session extends the undergraduate curriculum into the summer months, offering a wide range of courses from across the disciplines, from those that are in regular high-demand or are prerequisites for further study to those that are uniquely attractive to students. All courses offered must be currently approved courses or be submitted via the course proposal portal and approved by this committee as well as by the offering department.

The compressed, seven-week session provides students an intensive learning experience, enabling them to achieve a degree of focus that is for many a challenge during the fall and spring semesters. Since students have chosen their classes freely and are typically taking only one course or no more than two over the summer, they are able to commit to the material in a focused way. Indeed, students regularly report that the compressed session, the small class size, the availability of the instructors and the absence of distraction during the summer session significantly facilitates their learning. The engagement of students, the compressed session and the (relative) freedom from distraction also provides faculty an opportunity to experiment with new material and new pedagogies and to practice teaching new courses. For these reasons, Brown faculty also report high levels of satisfaction with summer teaching.

In addition to serving Brown undergraduates, the Summer Session is open to qualified undergraduates enrolled at other institutions and to rising high school seniors.

The instructional staff of Summer Sessions consists primarily of Brown faculty, supplemented by visiting faculty and graduate students.

Summer Session Course Dates  
Monday, June 19, 2023 Juneteenth Holiday observed according to University regulations
Tuesday, June 20, 2023 Summer Session classes begin
Tuesday, July 4, 2023 Fourth of July Holiday observed according to University regulations
Friday, July 28, 2023 Last day of classes
Friday, August 4, 2023 Summer Session ends

Summer Session 2023 Course Proposal Dates and Deadlines

Proposal Timeline
  • Course Proposal Opens: September 19, 2022
  • Proposal Deadline: November 11, 2022
Proposal Process for All Summer Session Courses:
  1. Connect with your Department Chair, to secure approval to teach during the summer undergraduate session.
  2. Submit the Summer Session 2023 proposal form prior to November 11, 2022.

Submit a course proposal for Summer Session!

Program Director: Carrie Nordlund

Staff