EXCITING NEWS: Our Application Deadline has been extended to June 1st! Admission is rolling, don't miss out, apply for one of our Summer Pre-College Programs Today!
July 12 - 24, 2020 | 2 Weeks
Welcome to Leadership for Social Change - Virtual! All of Tufts University's world-class academic courses and programs began operating virtually in March 2020 and, as such, we are excited to welcome you to this new world of virtual learning. Thanks to the wonders of digital platforms, we are able to bring the exciting and rigorous academic experience of Leadership for Social Change safely to you in your home.
Join Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life for an exciting, engaging, two-week summer program created for those who want to develop their leadership skills while making a difference in the world and in their communities. The program will equip students with the leadership skills and civic knowledge to build connections, work collaboratively, and emerge as change agents who can inspire others.
This summer will be a particularly fascinating time to study leadership in a social context. With a global pandemic creating unprecedented challenges for society, we are relying on our political, non-profit, humanitarian, and public health leaders to help solve the crisis and bridge us into a stronger future. Much more than a traditional college readiness program, Leadership for Social Change will enable participants to build a community of peers to develop the skills and knowledge to be leaders in their own communities — now and in the future.
Note: this page represents our best expectations for the program we will deliver this summer, but due to the ever-evolving situation, is subject to change. We will update this page as new information becomes available.
- Explore new academic areas in which critical civic engagement work is conducted:
- public policy, management and problem-solving
- political science and government
- environmental studies and community health
- leadership and social entrepreneurship
- Create connections between students’ passions and academic interests
- Engage with and learn from Tufts faculty and community leaders who are making a difference
- Make lifelong friends with students from all over the world!
- 1 Tufts Credit (P/F);* an official Tufts transcript on request
- Skills and foundational knowledge for sustainable, meaningful civic engagement work
- Leadership development and networking opportunities
- Inspiration and preparation to bring change and be active, engaged civic leaders
- Individual action plans to address a pressing issue in each student’s home community
- Team presentation and e-portfolio of each student’s work
- A community of peers who value civic engagement and community leadership
* Student must Pass to earn credit; credit is pre-matriculation credit
^ This video is a general representation of the general educational experience this program provides, but should not be taken as indicating specific activities that will occur in Summer 2020, as it was created for Summer 2019 when all programs ran on-campus.
Not for you? Check out one of our other programs.
I made so many incredible and different friends at this program that I will keep in contact with for a long time. I learned more about a subject area I find myself interested in pursuing later in life.
I loved the people in the program. From my peers to my peer leaders, everyone had amazing personalities.
One of the best things about this program is the community that we built together. you could tell that all of the students and teachers have genuine relationships
The bond that I created with people and the site visits that made me learn so much more
Great exposure to important topics and opportunities to explore and reflect; great chance to experience campus living and independence.
[My student] really enjoyed all aspects of the program. It really made her think about the world she lives in and how she can make change.
She loves it there. When she came home, she was really awed at how Massachusetts and Tufts was a good experience
Orientation will be held asynchronously and will require students to participate in an online discussion. Attendance is required.
This program will combine academics, fieldwork, skill-building, and opportunities for reflection with deeper exploration of specialized topics in civic life. The first week will explore the many pathways to civic engagement such as direct service, politics, social justice theories and community health.
Students will identify an issue in their home community they want to analyze and develop a social impact project or campaign. Guest speakers and interactive discussions on various media platforms will accompany academic coursework to provide students with a wide range of exposure to the many ways they can work together virtually to create impact in their own communities and around the world.
LSC Virtual is an opportunity for young leaders who are eager to develop their leadership potential to understand and practice how social change impacts the way communities around the globe are grappling with a society altering phenomenon. The closing ceremony for LSC 2020 will capitalize on the power of social media platforms and focus on the various ways in which young leaders can communicate and drive forward change with an issue that is close to heart. Students will have the opportunity to share their final project with their peers around the globe via a variety of online platforms. Guest speakers and faculty will also be able to provide comments. Student will close the program with an online portfolio that will showcase the ways their communication, leadership and knowledge of social change has grown!
Sample Student Schedule (Weekly)
Please note: the below is a sample schedule based on information at this time, considering an individual student attending the program scheduling independent work / recorded sessions in particular time slots. The schedule is subject to change as we continue to evolve the program and speaker list to be as meaningful as possible for our students and will look different for students choosing to attend live or independent work / recorded sessions differently. All times are in EASTERN TIME (please see "Attending from Outside the Eastern Time Zone" section below for concerns regarding those not in ET).Because this is a virtual program, meals will not be provided for students even if a meal is stated on the schedule - this is for demonstration only. Activities may occur during meal times.
A critical part of this experience is engaging with the content material, faculty and peers as much as possible on academic and social media platforms. To make sure you have everything you need to complete your project, we will be mailing to you in advance of the program the following:
- A program workbook that will have serve as your at-home guide that will walk you through the daily assignments and provide you with fun exercises to put into practice the theories the LSC faculty will expose you to
- Tufts gear to wear proudly with your new LSC peers!
Besides this and the technology requirements listed under "Technical Needs & Support," no other materials will be necessary for participation in this program. However, we will also be mailing you some fun Tufts Pre-College Programs materials and your Certificate of Completion at the end of the program.
Note: if you live internationally, we are not responsible if the materials we mail are delayed (which we will try to avoid) or held in customs.
Brianda Hernandez, Student Programs Administrator at Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life
Brianda is the Program Administrator for Leadership for Social Change. In her role, she works with faculty, guest speakers and community organizations to bring together a curriculum that is engaging and thought provoking. Brianda’s background includes working with grassroots organizations in predominantly Latinx communities in the areas of youth leadership, food, and mental health advocacy. Brianda was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She is passionate about working with young leaders to create sustainable impact to make this world a more equitable place. She received her B.A in Urban Studies and Planning with a focus on Sustainability and her M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. Brianda loves the sun, coffee and her cat, Luna!
Students are required to attend all elements of the program schedule and any expected absences must be communicated to program staff in advance. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously, even in the virtual environment. Students who enroll will receive more information about our virtual safety protocols.
Tufts makes reasonable efforts to secure background checks and to provide Title IX training to every staff person responsible for students in its Pre-College Programs.
Application Materials & Deadlines
Leadership for Social Change is a highly competitive program that fills up very quickly. We recommend submitting your application as early as possible.
|Application Opens||Deadline: All Materials||Deadline: Payment||Deadline: Enrollment Forms|
|December 1||June 1||May 15||June 15|
*Applications submitted after the payment deadline will require payment in full on admission to hold their seat.
Entering high school grades 10-12.
Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs, although please note we cannot sponsor visas for this program.
Non-Native English Speakers
If you indicate that English is not your primary language, you will be asked to submit evidence of English Language proficiency. Please see our "How to Apply" page for details.
Step 1: Complete an Online Application
The online application will ask you for the following information:
- Basic personal information, including parents/guardians and emergency contact (if you are under 18, we will contact a parent for permission to enroll)
- Short interest statement (max 250 words, prompt provided)
- Contact information for 1 individual to submit a Letter of Recommendation - this individual can be a teacher, counselor, or mentor. We will contact this individual on your behalf.
- Test scores - optional, unless you must submit scores as evidence of English proficiency
- Warrants and signatures
If you need to log back into this application after starting, click here: return to my application.
Step 2: Email or Mail your High School Transcript
After submitting your online application, you must contact your high school and ask them to send a transcript to us. They can send us this information in two ways: by email to email@example.com or by mail to Tufts Pre-College Programs, 108 Packard Avenue, Medford, MA 02155.
Step 3: Parental Consent and Letter of Recommendation
As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide contact information for both a parent/guardian and a recommender. Once you submit your application, our systems will automatically email the parent/guardian and recommender you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online permission or recommendation form.
Please note your application will not be considered submitted and review of your application will not begin until the materials from Step 2 and Step 3 have been received by Tufts Pre-College Programs.
Once an applicant has submitted an application and all required admissions documents are received, the applicant will be considered for admission by the Tufts Pre-College Programs review committee for the specific program(s) to which they applied.
Decisions are made on a rolling basis and students will typically receive an official email informing them of their admissions status within 10 business days of Tufts receiving all required materials.
If you do not receive your email within two weeks of all materials being submitted, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-627-2926.
Disclaimer: This program is not related to Tufts University Undergraduate Admissions. Participation in this program does not result in admission to a Tufts University degree program. Tufts reserves the right to admit as requested, to deny admission, or to offer provisional admission. The program will not provide feedback to applicants if admission is denied.
Admitted students must do the following prior to the start of the program:
- Submit a deposit to hold your seat; this program requires a deposit within 10 business days of the date on which the admissions decision was posted
- Pay your balance in full prior to the stated deadline
- Complete all enrollment forms and/or follow-up requests prior to the stated deadline
Should the above not be completed prior to the stated deadlines, the student will be automatically withdrawn from the program.
Tuition & Fees
Virtual Program Fee: $3,800
- Includes: all program activities, 1 Tufts credit (pass/fail, pre-matriculation, on passing the program), and daily activities.
- Excludes: anything not explicitly stated above.
Non-Refundable Program Deposit: $550, applied to the Program Fee
- A pre-payment on program fees is required to reserve space in the program within 10 business days of admission to the program
- This deposit will be applied toward program fees and is not an additional fee
- The balance of payment for program fees is due upon notification of charges, and no later than May 15
- This deposit is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program
If you have been admitted to the program, we will be updating the fees posted to your student account over the next several days. The Program Fee balance associated with your Residential or Commuter tuition will be removed and your new Virtual Program Fee balance will be added. Please do not be alarmed if you see any anomalies, they will be resolved.
If you have already paid program fees in excess of the new Virtual Program Fee, the balance will be available to you as a refund. Please see the "Refund Policies" page for more details.
If you received a financial aid award, in excess of the new Virtual Program Fee, your award will be adjusted downward such that your total payments and waivers do not exceed the total new Virtual Program Fee and will not be available to you as a refund. This will allow us to make financial aid awards to more students.
Leadership for Social Change supports a limited number of students, who are invited to apply for funding. You will be notified by email if you are eligible for this aid.
Please see the policies section of this website for a complete list of applicable policies.
We endeavor to make each moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Tufts Virtual Campus brings new meaning to this as we strive to recreate the critical learning and social environment students expect from Tufts University through digital tools. Tufts Virtual campus exists on a series of software platforms to which students will have full access during their program. In particular, the following two platforms will be used for the majority of our activities:
- Zoom: allows students to connect for lectures, webinars, breakout sessions, one-on-one mentoring, phone calls, chat sessions ... and more!
- Canvas: provides a collaborative space for course content, assignments, and grading. Many programs will host course material (syllabus, readings, review questions, etc.) on a Canvas course site.
Tufts Virtual Campus programs are being designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive experiences to our students. We are carefully designing them to have the same academic rigor and expectations for teaching, studying, and achievement as their on-campus counterparts. The benefits of learning in a virtual environment include giving students greater freedom to interact with course content (lectures, presentations, discussions, forums, etc.) on a schedule that works for them, using a wider network of resources to achieve educational goals.
As we are learning from this period of quarantine, virtual interaction can approximate, but rarely replaces in-person interaction. With that said, technology offers us with tremendous opportunities to facilitate various kinds of social interaction that allow us to instantly connect students from around the world in the environments in which they thrive. We will be hosting a variety of virtual social experiences for students to interact with each other within their program and across programs! We firmly believe your ability to make new friends from around the world will not be hindered by the virtual environment!
Technical Needs & Support
Students will need access to the following in order to participate in this program:
- Computer: either a Mac or PC with the following
- Mac - running at least OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
- PC - running Windows 7/8/10. Users on Windows 10 will have to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
- Smart Phone: any phone capable of accessing social media platforms like Instagram
- Internet Access: A reliable, high-speed (cable or broadband) internet connection is required. Students are expected to log into Zoom and Canvas and to check email daily, and will need regular and reliable access to the internet.
- If you do not have reliable access to internet, programs may have internet hotspots available for students with demonstrated financial need. While this cannot be guaranteed, and supplies may be limited, please check with your program for availability.
- Web Camera: either integrated into your computer or external, set-up and working
- Web Browser: one of the following browsers updated for the latest updates:
- Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari.
- Software: programs capable of
We will provide you will access to other software that is required for your program for the duration of your program. As long as you have technology that meets the above requirements, you should have no trouble accessing the software. Depending on the program, this software will include Zoom and Canvas.
Most programs will send software in advance with instructions to complete a trial-run before the program begins. We will also use orientation time to ensure everyone is connected and comfortable!
Critical university emails will go to your Tufts email address. You can access your Tufts email through a web‐based email reader used to manage your Tufts email. It includes calendar and contact management tools as well. You must read Tufts University email, since this is the primary way that the university will send you information about registration and payment. Access Tufts Exchange via this link.
First, please try contacting the Pre-College staff at 617-627-2926.
If they cannot answer your question, they will pass you along to our technical support team who is available 24x7 to students who are actively enrolled in a program.
Tufts Pre-College Programs staff is developing a series of virtual social activities throughout the program so that students can meet each other across programs and so that students from all time zones can participate. Here is our tentative schedule to-date:
- Morning Meetups: start (or end) your day by catching-up with your classmates and classroom assistants about current events, last night's late night show, recent lectures or events over breakfast! Tentatively scheduled for M / W / F 8-8:45am ET
- Lunch & Learns: join your peers from around the world to discuss an interesting topic in a staff-led discussion every Tuesday 12-12:45pm ET. Can't attend live? No problem, we'll post recordings so you can view them later!
- Trivia Night: Thursday nights at 9PM ET are for trivia! Unwind with your classmates and some friendly competition. Students who cannot play live will be able to form teams and submit their answers (timed!) digitally in advance. We will be keeping a running scoreboard across teams throughout the summer!
- Wellness Courses: To get you moving and feeling your best, attend at-home guided meditation, yoga, or other workout classes, offered Saturdays at 9AM ET. These will be recorded so you can attend them later as well.
- Game Club: Create teams and play games like Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Chess, and more. Teams will make moves when on their own time and games will play out over the course of the program or summer.
And more! Look out for a social events calendar that may include a virtual talent show, dance party, cooking classes, photo challenges, scavenger hunts, 'quarenTHEME' spirit days, museum tours, and more!
Most programs will offer independent study time for students in a shared (and monitored) "Common Rooms" "Studio Spaces" or "Study Rooms" that will allow students to work in the company of their peers, sharing questions and chatting.
Many programs are also planning their own program-specific activities, often thematically relevant to the program content itself. Look out for these activities in the program description above and in the information provided after you enroll!
Attending Outside the Eastern Time Zone
If you live on the West Coast or internationally, you may be wondering how you will be able to participate in this program. Please know that Tufts sees a diversity of geographical perspectives as not just beneficial but essential to a twenty-first century education. We have been working hard with our staff to ensure all students who are offered a spot in the program will be able to attend - whether in live or recorded sessions. We have done our best to note places where we feel there is an incremental benefit to live attendance and will be focusing our efforts on these parts of the schedule. All of the below is tentative and subject to change as we seek improved ways of our students needs and have a better sense of the geographic distribution of our students.
Students should always feel free to get in touch with program staff at any point to let us know how we can best accommodate the challenges of distance learning and we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate where possible.
Faculty Sessions: LSC Faculty will be conducting sessions on Zoom. A digital discussion board will be available so students can ask the faculty questions on the content shared at any time.
Peer Leaders, A.K.A. LSC-ers Peer Support System: LSC Peer Leaders are Tufts undergraduate students who provide support with daily assignments and support with any questions related to the program and college in general. The LSC peer leaders will be available on a variety of platforms and times to provide any support that may be needed.
Workshops, Guest Speaker Panels, and Presentations: These program elements will all be posted as on-demand videos for students to view. Digital discussion boards on academic platforms and other social media platforms will be set-up so that all students have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with guest speakers, peer leaders, faculty and staff whenever they are signed in to the program. Depending on the final schedule, there will be opportunities for students to interact directly with Social Change leaders in the field!
Orientation: Will be held asynchronously for all students. Attendance is required.
Closing Ceremony: We are currently working on ways to make this available to all students! We will post updates when we have more information.
Social Activities: We will be offering virtual social activities at different times throughout the day or night (to the extent possible) so that students from across time zones will be able to participate! Some activities, like our virtual board games, will be played throughout the program - with moves made by players and teams when they can check in.