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Benefits for Students

Enact positive change 

The Academy of Civic Life empowers high school students to make a difference in their communities. After learning about the history of democracy, civics, and political movements around the world during the Summer Residency, students will work with each other and their undergraduate mentors to tackle community projects. Students in the Academy of Civic Life will learn to enact real, positive, and meaningful changes in their communities. 

Become a Junior Human Rights Commissioner 

The Academy of Civic Life has a partnership with the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission and students in our program will form the inaugural Junior Human Rights Commission. Commissioners will work with students as they plan and implement their community-engagement projects, providing guidance and resources to students, as well as meaningful forums for them to present their work. 

Receive near-peer mentorship from Stony Brook undergraduate students

Throughout the Summer Residency component, high school students will work closely with Undergraduate Teaching Assistants. These TAs will be SBU Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students. EOP supports college students who have the ability to succeed but who may face barriers because of their prior academic preparation. Our undergraduate TAs will offer students academic support and mentorship, helping the high school students to adapt to the rigorous intellectual work of the college classroom and navigate the challenges of the application process.

Successful Academy alumni will be given priority consideration for admission to the SBU EOP if they meet the EOP's financial and academic requirements.

Earn college credit while developing college-level academic skills 

During the Summer Residency, students will take a three-credit college course: GLI 102, taught by Dr. Tracey Walters. In this course, students will read classic and contemporary texts about the history of civics, politics, labor, and democracy. They will interact with written, film, and audio materials that each tell essential pieces of the history of democracy. By taking this course, students will earn college credit before entering their senior year of high school.

Students will work with Undergraduate Teaching Assistants to develop the reading and writing skills that will help them to be successful in college and beyond. Students will be empowered to tackle the challenging philosophical and political texts, putting them in conversation with contemporary writers and current events. Students will add their voices and perspectives to discussions and debates about democracy and politics.  

The Academy will also run a series of workshops to help students to learn strategies that will help them to successfully navigate college work and life. Covering topics like time management, coping with stress, mindfulness, and maintaining a healthy work/school/social life balance, these workshops are aimed at helping participants develop essential studentship skills.

Navigate college applications 

The Academy of Civic Life is committed to supporting students as they apply to colleges and universities during their senior year of high school. Through the Academy, students will learn about the college and financial aid application process. We are also very proud to have a partnership with Stony Brook University’s Educational Opportunity Program. Representations from EOP will meet with students, and ACL applicants will be given priority treatment if they  meet the academic and financial requirements of the EOP. 

Learn essential professional development skills  

Through the Academy of Civic Life, students will work with university professors, Undergraduate TAs, and other members of the campus community to learn about resume and personal statement writing. They will practice interviewing and will workshop their public speaking and presentation skills. The professional development skills that students will learn in our program will benefit them during the college application process and beyond.