NCI introduces women’s literature summer program for high school students


Courtesy of Tulane PR

The summer program in women’s literature is sponsored by Newcomb College Institute and will be open to rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.

The Newcomb College Institute at Tulane is offering a weeklong summer session program that will introduce local high school students to women’s leadership and literature in a college setting.

The course will run from June 12-16 and is open to local rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who apply by March 31. Though the course is aimed at women’s leadership skills both in and out of the classroom, it will be offered to people identifying as any gender who are interested in women’s literature and leadership.

Students will learn leadership, writing, reading, collaborative and public speaking skills through discussion of classic and contemporary feminist texts, project work and guest lectures. The course prepares participants for higher education through college-level coursework and workshops for the construction of college essays.

Laura Wolford, NCI assistant director for administration and programs, aims to introduce students to ideas about feminism and culture.

“… [The course] should set [students] up for thinking about these ideas when they go to college and will hopefully enrich their thinking about themselves as readers and thinkers and give them a critical framework for thinking about the culture we live in,” Wolford said.

Through the collaborative discussion and analysis of feminist texts, students will learn about classical and modern-day feminism and relate it to the context of their lives.

Molly Pulda, program instructor and director and the administrative assistant professor of women’s literature, aims to close the “confidence gap” between male and female students through the program. She hopes that by giving students leadership skills and confidence in the classroom, these trends will reflect within the community.

Pulda emphasized that collaboration is essential to the success of the program.

“My goal for the program is for students to learn as much from each other as they do from me, their instructor,” Pulda said. “I will facilitate a discussion that incorporates all the students’ perspectives on what women’s literature and leadership can look like today.”

Tuition for the five-day, all-day program is $395. The application, which includes a letter of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor and a 250-word essay about why the student is interested in the program. Applicants can apply for a need-based scholarship by submitting an optional essay demonstrating financial need.

With the application and opportunity for need-based scholarships, Pulda hopes that a broad range of students will be encouraged to apply for the program. This ensures a variety of perspectives are present in class discussions and group work.

Pulda said she is hopeful that local high school students applying to the program will one day become Tulane students. Freshman Asha Dash, a Ben Franklin High School alumna, said she believes that having a larger local student population represented in the Tulane student body would help integrate Tulane into the broader New Orleans community.

To draw local high school students into the Tulane community through the program, the NCI and Professor Pulda have taken several steps to reach out to schools through networking, flyers, presentations, social media presence and word of mouth.

During the program, mornings will feature Pulda leading the students in a college-style seminar about the texts. The discussion will continue over “leadership lunches” with guest speakers followed by independent and collaborative project time.

On the last day of the program, students will receive a certificate of completion and letter of recommendation from the instructor. Families of the students can come to campus to see an exhibition of the projects that students have worked on throughout the week.

Organizers hope the program will be an opportunity for the students to gain new knowledge and skills they will be able to utilize in their lives.

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