Online Courses Summer 2020

Updated May 27th, 2020

This is a brief overview of our online course offerings for Summer 2020. We are holding our 2-week Entrepreneurship and the Environment program from June 22 – July 3 and our 2-week Sustainable Cities program from July 6 – 17.

We are accepting new applications from prospective students through June 5th.

Information posted here is accurate but still in development and subject to minor changes.

Start An Application

The Basics

In keeping with one of the most essential aspects of what makes a Sustainable Summer program what it is, we want our online programs to allow for collaboration between students from all over the map. Consequently, courses will meet in real time (rather than asynchronously) with breakout sessions and group project work occurring outside of classroom hours. We know that it is going to be difficult to replicate the same level of community that occurs on an “in-person” program, but we feel it is important to maintain as much of the same format and structure as possible while also recognizing that certain aspects of our typical programming will not be replicable in a virtual format.

What courses will be offered? What can I expect as a participant?

We have draft syllabi for our 2-week Entrepreneurship and the Environment program and our 2-week Sustainable Cities program.

Who Can Participate?

Students currently enrolled or accepted in a 2020 session: If you were accepted into a Sustainable Summer program for 2020, you can participate. You do not have to participate in the same session you were originally enrolled in.

New/Prospective applicants: We are accepting new applications from prospective students for both sessions through June 5th. Both sessions will run at full enrollment of 50 students per session.

Geographical considerations: Unfortunately, even though this is a virtual course, we are still subject to some geographical constraints, namely time zones. Course times (M – F 830a – 12p PST) were selected with students in the continental US/western hemisphere in mind. There is also group project work that will take place outside of class hours. We don’t want to dissuade students from further afield from participating, but we want to discuss with you before hand if you, for instance, live in a timezone radically different from the US.

Is there availability? Will the sessions definitely run?

Both programs are expected to run full. We are continuing to accept new applications and will update this page when we are at or near enrollment capacity. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and acceptance decisions made within 3 business days of submission.

What dates will the courses be offered?

We are holding our Entrepreneurship and the Environment course from June 22 – July 3 (Mon – Fri) and our Sustainable Cities course from July 6 – 17

What is the time commitment?

Classes will meet 8:30am to 12pm PST Monday – Friday. There is also approximately 20 hours of total group project work that will occur outside of class hours. Week 1 has approximately 5 hours of group project work. Week 2 has approximately 15 hours. It is not possible to miss a class session or any of the group work.

What is the format of the courses?

The first week of the course will feature topical content (including breakout sessions and small group work). The second week is entirely dedicated to a significant group project. This is a comparable structure to our typical campus-based programs. The project format is rooted in design thinking methodology.

Can I participate in an online course this summer and also defer my enrollment to 2021?

Yes. If you are currently enrolled in a program and would like to do an online course while also keeping your options open for next summer, you will be able to do so simply by enrolling and completing an online course. Any student that completes an online course this summer will be invited to enroll in a Summer 2021 program in the fall without needing to reapply for admission. Please keep in mind that course content will be similar enough that we don’t recommend students participate in an online course with us this summer with the intention of attending the campus-based version of the same course next summer.

What is the fee to participate?

The fee is “pay what you wish” with a suggested tuition of $500. No one will be turned away if they cannot pay and we are not making acceptance or enrollment decisions based on a family’s ability to pay. We understand that many families are facing a lot of economic uncertainty right now. We have been operating off of a tiered tuition model for several years, so we feel comfortable putting the ball in parents’ court to decide how much to pay.

How many participants per course?

Up to 50.

Who is the instructor?

Jeff Sharpe, Sustainable Summer’s founder and executive director.

Will there be guest lecturers or other experts teaching the course?

Probably not. We considered bringing in some of the faculty that we often work with on our campus programs, but we don’t think it makes sense given the format and course calendar. We will have some of these folks on our panel for the end of program presentations.