RiceEDGE summer courses introduce motivated high school students to college life

Applications for the pilot program are due May 1

Rising high school juniors and seniors have the opportunity to see what it’s like to learn and live at Rice University this summer through the RiceEDGE Summer School program. Specifically designed for motivated high school students, RiceEDGE provides critical skills for collegiate success and an introduction to college life.

“RiceEDGE was born as a way to get talented high school students on campus and give them a valuable intellectual experience,” said Matthew Taylor, associate vice provost at Rice. “The program is targeted toward students interested in preparing themselves to be strong college applicants, not just to Rice, but to any selective college or university.”

Summer school students participating in courses for credit can experience even more of an introduction to college life by choosing to reside in one of Rice’s nationally renowned residential colleges alongside their peers. Students will eat meals in a residential college servery, engage in a program of events and activities and have access to all that campus has to offer, including the library and recreation center.

College credit courses include three-credit and five-credit biochemistry and cell biology courses and a four-credit course exploring new frontiers in film, literature, culture and digital technologies. The former are designed to provide foundational content and laboratory research experience for students interested in medicine or the life sciences. The latter will focus on sharpening the written, oral and visual communication skills that are critical to students’ success in college.

RiceEDGE also offers a number of enrichment courses. These two-week and five-week noncredit courses allow students to experience the academic rigor of a college environment and explore a topic deeply without the pressure of grades.

RiceEDGE enrichment courses include the new leader practicum, creativity in literature and visual culture, humanitarianism and refugees in the 21st century, and introduction to computer science and programming in Java.

“We’re excited to offer the quality of the Rice experience to academically ambitious students,” Taylor said. “Through the rigor and intellectual energy of courses taught by Rice faculty, students will build critical inquiry and problem-solving skills.”

Students in the new leader practicum will work directly with Tom Kolditz, director of Rice’s award-winning Doerr Institute for New Leaders. The seminar on humanitarianism and refugees in the 21st century is taught by Daniel Cohen, a Rice associate professor of history who is strongly connected to the refugee support community and has written a book and several other publications on the subject.

Each RiceEDGE course is complemented by co-curricular activities and workshops designed to help students develop new skills that will fuel their future success. Topics include college essay writing, teamwork and presenting and communicating research.

RiceEDGE Summer School runs from June 21 to July 28. Applications are due May 1. To be eligible, students must be 16 years old by June 15 and may not turn 19 years old before July 31. Applicants may apply for more than one course but can only participate in one. Dependents of benefits-eligible Rice faculty and staff will receive a 10 percent discount on the RiceEDGE program cost. A limited number of scholarships are available to students who demonstrate significant financial need.

To access the online application, visit https://edge.rice.edu/apply.

About Kendall Schoemann

Kendall Schoemann is a staff writer in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.