Faculty sought for summer Cougs Rise, Dare to Dream programs

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Washington State University faculty and graduate students are invited to apply to teach in late June and July for Cougs Rise Summer Program and Dare to Dream. While the schedule and content of courses can be quite flexible, expertise in a field and enthusiasm for WSU and prospective and incoming first-year students is required.

“The summer, temporary teachers will be essential members of the teams, and will play a vital role in introducing college-level academics to eager and diverse populations,” said Randall Bennett, director of College Access and Transition Programs, in the Office of Academic Engagement (OAE).

Cougs Rise Summer’s new five-week format

Cougs Rise is a long-established initiative in OAE, which is part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement in the provost’s office. Cougs Rise is funded by three U.S. Dept. of Education Upward Bound grants, and the WSU initiative helps prepare Washington high schoolers to transition successfully to college.

Throughout the academic year, OAE peer mentors in Cougs Rise work with nearly 200 low-income and first-generation students from five high schools across the state. It is those students still in high school or who will enter WSU in fall who will participate in the summer program.

While Cougs Rise Summer has been offered in the past, there’s a new format now under Bennett, who joined OAE in November to replace Ray Acuna-Luna.

“This summer, we seek educators who can creatively share disciplinary expertise in, for example, mathematics, English, science, and foreign languages in innovative ways. The times and days they teach across the five-week session are negotiable. The most important thing is that we want student participants to have a very positive experience at our university, and the academic component is a large part of that.

“We also mean for the students to have fun, and we intend that the teachers can have fun, too, because of the flexibility they will have with their classes.”

This year, an in-person session for high school and entering first-year WSU students will run at WSU Pullman from June 18 through July 1. From July 2 through 8, the group will fly to Washington, D.C. to explore the city, meet eastern Washington legislators and staff, and visit D.C.’s historical and cultural exhibits. From July 10 through 21, classes and programming for Cougs Rise Summer will be virtual.

“The summer educators we are seeking can choose their instructional hours throughout July and even how many weeks they want to spread their lessons across — but we would prefer there to be some type of lessons Mondays through Fridays,” said Bennett. Virtual reality headsets, laptops and technology, and other teaching tools will be made available according to the instructors’ wishes.

When not in class, the Cougs Rise Summer students will explore the campus, visit researchers and laboratories, be mentored by Cougs Rise student employees, and enjoy presentations by guest experts. Evenings and weekends will be for co-curricular activities and reflection, said Bennett.

Dare to Dream math and science academies

Bennett said there is also a need for math and science instructors for OAE’s in-person Dare to Dream math and science academies for high school participants that run from June 25–July 1. Dare to Dream is sponsored by the Migrant Education Program (MEP) of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in partnership with WSU College Access and Transition Programs and the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP), and prepares students from migrant backgrounds for success in college and, specifically, at WSU.

This summer program offers hands-on introductions to sciences, math, and engineering, and self-development content builds students’ academic identity and confidence. Academic skills gained during the Dare to Dream academies help students develop postsecondary and career visions and frame the importance of high school performance. Current WSU students, several of whom are Dare to Dream alumni, serve as peer mentors throughout the academic activities.

For more information about upcoming teaching possibilities for Cougs Rise Summer as well as Dare to Dream, contact Bennett.

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