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Introduction and Mission 

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What is the Academy of Civic Life? 

The Academy of Civic Life is a free pre-college program at Stony Brook University. For three weeks during the summer, students will have a real college experience, living on campus and attending a rigorous three-week seminar with a Stony Brook University professor. They will practice the skills necessary for reading and writing at a college level.  Students will read, discuss, and write about classical and contemporary texts, and they will also earn college credit. Our program is currently limited to Brentwood High School students, although we hope to expand in the future!

Make a difference

Students will study the history of democratic movements, politics, and labor through readings and in-class debate. These conversations will provide students with a foundation for hands-on learning. After the summer program is complete, students will take these classroom lessons and apply them in their communities. During their senior year, Academy of Civic Life participants will work to enact positive change in their neighborhoods through community organizing. They will engage in a ten-month extracurricular program, designing and carrying out community engagement projects. For example, students in other courses around the country have organized a film festival focused on homelessness and have created a podcast episode by interviewing immigrant family members. 

Learn about college and college applications 

In the Academy of Civic Life, students will receive support on their college applications. Students will attend workshops to learn about choosing a college, writing a personal narrative, applying for financial aid, choosing a major, and other essential skills that will help them navigate the college application process. 

Our Mission 

The Academy of Civic Life is designed to prepare students to excel in college and beyond. The students who go through our program will be empowered and engaged members of their communities. Through classroom work and hands-on project experiences, Academy graduates will see themselves as scholars who can shape the futures of their community.

Our ultimate mission is to work with students and community leaders to support a diverse and engaged local community with equitable access to higher education.