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Dickinson College’s Free Summer Seminar for Rising High School Seniors Now Accepting Applications

Members of the Knowledge for Freedom program pose with a statue of Abraham Lincoln.

Knowledge for Freedom program participants pose with a statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Photo by Dan Loh.

Knowledge for Freedom

Rising high school seniors from across south central Pennsylvania are invited to apply for a free, three-week seminar taking place this July at Dickinson. Hosted by Dickinson’s House Divided Project, the college-level seminar will explore the historic struggle for freedom in the United States. The seminar aims to introduce students from underrepresented backgrounds, particularly low-income or first-generation college-bound students, to a series of great texts addressing fundamental questions about freedom, democracy and self-government. The seminar is free and includes room and board on campus. Students will be eligible to receive college credit for their completed course work. Interested students can find the application forms online. The application deadline has been extended to May 27.

The seminar is built around Dickinson’s acclaimed House Divided Project, which examines the Civil War and Reconstruction. This is the second year for the seminar, which is funded by a three-year, $300,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation’s Knowledge for Freedom program. It is designed to provide college-level courses, a college-style residential experience and hands-on counseling on the college admissions process.

“The seminar is a life-changing experience for students, and it has been career-changing experience for me,” said Professor of History and Pohanka Chair in American Civil War History Matthew Pinsker, director of the House Divided Project. “Students engage with the powerful stories of the fight to abolish slavery, which illuminates ongoing debates about freedom, democracy and self-government.”

The House Divided Project exists to help K-12 classrooms learn more about the American Civil War and the destruction of slavery, with special attention paid to efforts to end slavery, known as abolition. The summer seminar will include visits to the Gettysburg battlefield, National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, and Washington, D.C. Dickinson is among 20 institutions currently hosting Knowledge for Freedom programs.

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Published April 8, 2022