Global Online Academy Summer Program
University Prep is pleased to partner with Global Online Academy (GOA) to offer summer courses, June 14 – July 30, for high school students (rising 9th graders through seniors) interested in exploring a passion or topic of interest during the summer months. GOA’s mission is to reimagine learning to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally-networked society.
Summer GOA classes will offer a 7-week intensive format taught by expert educators who are experienced and deeply skilled in teaching and supporting students both in-person and online. GOA’s summer offerings include 21 different classes, listed below. The cost is $1000-$1,200 per course. Students should expect 10-15 hours/week of coursework and will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course.
UPrep partners with Global Online Academy, a consortium of over 150 leading independent schools across 31 states and 27 different countries, offering students a collaborative, cross-cultural, transdisciplinary learning experience with peer institutions around the world. GOA focuses on relevant topics and ideas, while providing hands-on coursework and opportunities for collaboration. Designed as highly interactive, GOA courses are predominantly asynchronous, so students have the flexibility to work at their own pace and time, with regular feedback and guidance from their teachers. The frequent use of online discussion tools and scheduled video conferencing allows students to build relationships and share experiences with peers and teachers around the world.
All registrations received by April 30 are guaranteed a spot. Questions? Please contact Anne Bingham, UPrep’s GOA Site Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 9/11 in a Global Context
- Abnormal Psychology
- Academic English Accelerator
- Business Problem Solving
- Computer Science I: Computational Thinking
- Computer Science II: Java
- Creative Nonfiction Writing
- Digital Photography
- Fiction Writing
- Genocide & Human Rights
- Introduction to Investments
- Introduction to Legal Thinking
- Introduction to Psychology
- Medical Problem Solving I
- Number Theory
- Personal Finance
- Race & Society
- Spanish Language Through Culture I
The tragedy of September 11, 2001 changed the world in profound ways. In this course, students explore the causes of 9/11, the events of the day itself, and its aftermath locally, nationally, and around the world. In place of a standard chronological framework, students instead view these events through a series of separate lenses. Each lens represents a different way to view the attacks and allows students to understand 9/11 as an event with complex and interrelated causes and outcomes. Using a variety of technologies and activities, students work individually and with peers to evaluate each lens. Students then analyze the post-9/11 period and explore how this event affected the U.S., the Middle East, and the wider world.
This course provides students with a general introduction to the field of abnormal psychology from a western perspective while exploring the cultural assumptions within the field. Students examine the biopsychosocial aspects of what we consider abnormal while developing an understanding of the stigma often associated with psychological disorders. Through book study, videos, article reviews, and discussions, students consider how our increasingly global world influences mental health in diverse settings. In learning about the different areas of western abnormal psychology, students study the symptoms, diagnoses, and responses to several specific disorders such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, or schizophrenia. Students develop an understanding of how challenging it can be to define “normal” as they begin to empathize with those struggling with mental distress. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to attend to their own mental well-being. The course culminates in an independent project where students showcase their learning with the goal of making an impact in their local communities.
This program helps English language learners in grades 9-12 improve their academic English. The program adapts to meet students' needs and goals, but is intended for students nearing English proficiency. Students will bring work from their courses to language coaching sessions. There, with peers and instructors, they will improve their written and oral communication. They will submit drafts of writing assignments and record rehearsals of presentations. They will set goals and receive feedback and coaching on their English expression. When students enroll, GOA will request student scores on any standardized proficiency assessment. This will determine if the program is the right fit for the student. Most students in this program score at least B1 or B2 on the Common European Framework, or 4 on the WIDA scale. They are often attending or planning to attend English-only high schools or universities. Students may enroll in this program during the Summer, Semester 1, Semester 2, or any combination of the three.
Students in this program must be enrolled in another GOA course. This program is not graded.
How could climate change disrupt your production and supply chains or impact your consumer markets? Will tariffs help or hurt your business? How embedded is social media in your marketing plan? Is your company vulnerable to cybercrime? What 21st century skills are you cultivating in your leadership team? Students in this course will tackle real-world problems facing businesses large and small in today’s fast changing global marketplace where radical reinvention is on the minds of many business leaders. Students will work collaboratively and independently on case studies, exploring business issues through varied lenses including operations, marketing, human capital, finance and risk management as well as sustainability. As they are introduced to the concepts and practices of business, students will identify, analyze and propose solutions to business problems, engaging in research of traditional and emerging industries, from established multinationals to startups.
This course or its equivalent is a prerequisite to all Computer Science II classes at GOA
This Computational Thinking Course focuses on solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior. It has applications not only in computer science, but also a myriad other fields of study. This introductory level course centers on thinking like a computer scientist, especially when it comes to understanding how computer scientists define and solve problems.
Students begin the course by developing an understanding of what computer science is, how it can be used by people who are not programmers, and why it’s a useful skill for all people to cultivate. Within this context, students are exposed to the power and limits of computational thinking.
Reading Between the Lines: Online Programming Classes for Beginners
Students are then introduced to entry-level programming constructs that will help them apply their knowledge of computational thinking in practical ways. They will learn how to read code and pseudocode, as well as begin to develop strategies for debugging programs. By developing computational thinking and programming skills, students will have the core knowledge to define and solve problems in future computer science courses.
While this course would be beneficial for any student without formal training as a programmer or computer scientist, it is intended for those with no programming experience.
This high school Java training course teaches students how to write programs in the Java programming language. Java is the backbone of many web applications, especially eCommerce and government sites. It is also the foundational code of the Android operating system and many tools of the financial sector. Students learn the major syntactical elements of the Java language though object-oriented design. The emphasis in the course will be on creating intelligent systems though the fundamentals of Computer Science.
Real World Experience: Java Basics
Students will use Java basic programs to write working programs through short lab assignments and more extended projects that incorporate graphics and animation. Prerequisite: Computer Science I: Computational Thinking or its equivalent.
Cyber criminals leverage technology and human behavior to attack our online security. This course explores the fundamentals of and vulnerabilities in the design of computers, networks, and the internet. Course content includes the basics of computer components, connectivity, virtualization, and hardening. Students will learn about network design, Domain Name Services, and TCP/IP. They will understand switching, routing and access control for internet devices, and how denial of service, spoofing and flood attacks work. Basic programming introduced in the course will inform hashing strategies, while an introduction to ciphers and cryptography will show how shared-key encryption works for HTTPS and TLS traffic. Students will also explore the fundamentals of data forensics and incident response protocols. The course includes analysis of current threats and best practice modelling for cyber defense, including password complexity, security, management, breach analysis, and hash cracking. Computational thinking and programming skills developed in this course will help students solve a variety of cyber security issues.
There is no computer science prerequisite for this course, though students with some background will certainly find avenues to flex their knowledge in this course.
Tell your own stories and the stories of the world around you! This course centers on the art of shaping real experiences into powerful narratives while growing in foundational writing skills. Participants will read, examine, and write diverse works of creative nonfiction including personal narratives, podcasts, opinion editorials, profile pieces, and more. Emphasizing process over product, this writing workshop provides opportunities to create in new ways. Students will practice essential craft elements (voice, style, structure) while reflecting stories from their own lives, communities, and interests. They will also build a personalized library of inspiring mentor texts, consider opportunities for publication, and develop sustainable writing habits. Both in real-time video chats and online discussion spaces, students will support one another intentionally; feedback is an essential component of this course, and students will gain experience in the workshop model, actively participating in a thriving, global writing community. Creative nonfiction has never been as popular as it is today; participants will experience its relevance on their own lives as they collaboratively explore this dynamic genre.
In an era where everyone has become a photographer obsessed with documenting most aspects of life, we swim in a sea of images, whether posted on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, or another digital medium. Yet what does taking a powerful and persuasive photo with a 35mm digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera require? Digital Photography explores this question in a variety of ways, beginning with the technical aspects of using and taking advantage of a powerful camera then moving to a host of creative questions and opportunities. Technical topics such as aperture, shutter, white balance, and resolution get ample coverage in the first half of the course, yet each is pursued with the goal of enabling students to leverage the possibilities that come with manual image capture. Once confident about technical basics, students apply their skills when pursuing creative questions such as how to understand and use light, how to consider composition, and how to take compelling portraits. Throughout the course, students tackle projects that enable sharing their local and diverse settings, ideally creating global perspectives through doing so. Additionally, students interact with each other often through critique sessions and collaborative exploration of the work of many noteworthy professional photographers, whose images serve to inspire and suggest the diverse ways that photography tells visual stories.
Prerequisite: Students must have daily access to a DSLR camera.
This course connects students interested in creative writing (primarily short fiction) and provides a space for supportive and constructive feedback. Students gain experience in the workshop model, learning how to effectively critique and discuss one each other's writing in an online environment. In addition to developing skills as readers within a workshop setting, students strive to develop their own writing identities through a variety of exercises.
International Connection: The Globalization of Creative Fiction Writing
This course capitalizes on the geographic diversity of the students by eliciting stories that shed light on both the commonalities and differences of life experiences in different locations. Additionally, we read and discuss the work of authors from around the globe.
Students’ Essential Responsibilities Are Twofold:
To engage in the class as readers and writers and
- To focus on their development as readers and writers
Both require active participation in discussions of various formats within our online community, as well as dedicated time outside of class reading and providing constructive feedback on one another’s work and writing original pieces for the workshop.
Students in this course study several of the major genocides of the 20th century (Armenian, the Holocaust, Cambodian, and Rwandan), analyze the role of the international community in responding to and preventing further genocides (with particular attention to the Nuremberg tribunals), and examine current human rights crises around the world. Students read primary and secondary sources, participate in both synchronous and asynchronous discussions with classmates, write brief papers, read short novels, watch documentaries, and develop a human rights report card website about a nation in the world of their choice.
This intensive summer course is designed to provide an accelerated path through the traditional high school geometry curriculum. Focusing on Euclidian geometry, students will examine topics relating to parallel lines, similar and congruent triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, and circles. Students can expect to analyze lengths, areas, and volumes of two and three dimensional figures, and will explore transformations and other manipulations. Particular attention will be paid to introductory trigonometry with right triangles and the study of circles (radians, sectors, arc length, etc.). In addition, the development of a mature, logical thought process will begin through a formal introduction to arguments, deductions, theorems, and proofs. Because this course will cover topics that are typically presented in a yearlong course, students should expect to dedicate 15-20 hours per week during the intensive 7-week summer session. Prerequisite: A strong background in Algebra 1 or similar.
Recommended resource: This course will draw significantly from McDougal-Littell's Geometry, Jurgensen, Brown, and Jurgensen 2011. It is not required that students purchase it - though they may find it useful as a companion resource for this course.
In this course, students simulate the work of investors by working with the tools, theories, and decision-making practices that define smart investment. We explore concepts in finance and apply them to investment decisions in three primary contexts: portfolio management, venture capital, and social investing. After an introduction to theories about valuation and risk management, students simulate scenarios in which they must make decisions to grow an investment portfolio. They manage investments in stocks, bonds, and options to learn a range of strategies for increasing the value of their portfolios. In the second unit, students take the perspective of venture capital investors, analyzing startup companies and predicting their value before they become public. In the third unit, students examine case studies of investment funds that apply the tools of finance to power social change. Throughout the course, students learn from experts who have experience in identifying value and managing risk in global markets. They develop their own ideas about methods for taking calculated financial risks and leave this course not just with a simulated portfolio of investments, but the skills necessary to manage portfolios in the future.
Inspired by GOA’s popular Medical Problem Solving series, this course uses a case-based approach to give students a practical look into the professional lives of lawyers and legal thinking. By studying and debating a series of real legal cases, students will sharpen their ability to think like lawyers who research, write and speak persuasively. The course will focus on problems that lawyers encounter in daily practice, and on the rules of professional conduct case law. In addition to practicing writing legal briefs, advising fictional clients and preparing opening and closing statements for trial, students will approach such questions as the law and equity, the concept of justice, jurisprudence and legal ethics.
What does it mean to think like a psychologist? In Introduction to Psychology, students explore three central psychological perspectives in order to develop a multi-faceted understanding of what thinking like a psychologist encompasses:
- The behavioral
- The cognitive
- The sociocultural
The additional question of “How do psychologists put what they know into practice?” informs study of the research methods in psychology, the ethics surrounding them, and the application of those methods to practice.
Real World Application: Understanding Psychology Day-to-Day
During the first five units of this psychology high school class, students gather essential information that they apply during a group project on the unique characteristics of adolescent psychology. Students similarly envision a case study on depression, which enables application of understandings from the first five units. The course concludes with a unit on positive psychology, which features current positive psychology research on living mentally healthy lives. Throughout the course, students collaborate on a variety of activities and assessments, which often enable learning psychology through understanding each other’s unique perspectives while building their research and critical thinking skills in service of comprehending the complex field of psychology.
In this medical program for high school students, participants collaboratively solve medical mystery cases, similar to the approach used in many medical schools. Students use problem-solving techniques in order to understand and appreciate relevant medical/biological facts as they confront the principles and practices of medicine, and enhance their critical thinking skills through:
- Examining data
- Drawing conclusions
- Making diagnoses
- Treating patients
Enhancing Critical Thinking in a Medical Environment
Students explore anatomy and physiology pertaining to medical scenarios and gain an understanding of the disease process, demographics of disease, and pharmacology. Additional learning experiences in this high school summer medical program include studying current issues in health and medicine, interviewing a patient, and creating a new mystery case.
In this introduction to microeconomics course, students learn about how consumers and producers interact to form a market and then how and why the government may intervene in that market. Students deepen their understanding of basic microeconomic theory through such methods as:
- Class discussion and debate
- Problem solving
- Written reflection
Economic ways of thinking about the world will help them better understand their roles as consumers and workers, and someday, as voters and producers.
Once thought of as the purest but least applicable part of mathematics, number theory is now by far the most commonly applied: every one of the millions of secure internet transmissions occurring each second is encrypted using ideas from number theory. This course covers the fundamentals of this classical, elegant, yet supremely relevant subject. It provides a foundation for further study of number theory, but even more, it develops the skills of mathematical reasoning and proof in a concrete and intuitive way and is necessary preparation for any future course in upper-level college mathematics or theoretical computer science. We progressively develop the tools needed to understand the RSA algorithm, the most common encryption scheme used worldwide. Along the way we invent some encryption schemes of our own and discover how to play games using number theory. We also get a taste of the history of the subject, which involves the most famous mathematicians from antiquity to the present day, and we see parts of the story of Fermat’s Last Theorem, a 350-year-old statement that was fully proven only twenty years ago. While most calculations will be simple enough to do by hand, we will sometimes use the computer to see how the fundamental ideas can be applied to the huge numbers needed for modern applications.
Prerequisite: A strong background in precalculus and above, as well as a desire to do rigorous mathematics and proofs.
In this course, students learn financial responsibility and social consciousness. We will examine a wide array of topics including personal budgeting, credit cards and credit scores, career and earning potential, insurance, real estate, financial investment, retirement savings, charitable giving, taxes, and other items related to personal finance. Students will apply their understanding of these topics by simulating real life financial circumstances and weighing the costs and benefits of their decisions. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to learn from individuals with varying perspectives and expertise in numerous fields. By reflecting on their roles in the broader economy as both producers and consumers, students will begin to consider how they can positively impact the world around them through their financial decisions.
What is race? Is it something we’re born with? Is it an idea that society imposes on us? An identity we perform? A privilege we benefit from? Does our own culture’s conception of race mirror those found in other parts of the world? These are just a few of the questions that students in this course will explore together as they approach the concept of race as a social construct that shapes and is shaped by societies and cultures in very real ways. Throughout the course students will learn about the changing relationship between race and society across time and across cultures. Engaging with readings, films, and speakers from a variety of academic fields (history, sociology, anthropology, literature) students will explore, research, reflect on and discuss the complex set of relationships governing race and society.
This intensive summer course will give students with no prior exposure to Spanish the vocabulary, grammatical background and communicative skills that they need to jump into Spanish 2 at their schools. Please note, this course is not recommended for those wanting a light introductory course to get a taste of Spanish before deciding if they want to study it further, nor for those wanting to get a jumpstart for a Spanish 1 course during the academic year. In this intensive course, students will master greetings and introductions, question formation, describing daily routines, expressing likes and dislikes, describing familiar people and places, and other fundamental communicative functions. Students will learn to communicate using common regular and irregular verbs in the present tense and the immediate future. Students will also develop a broad-based vocabulary related to common settings including school and the classroom, home and family life and others. The primary focus of the course will be to develop novice interpersonal and presentational speaking and comprehension skills. Through interacting with classmates and instructors, students will practice their budding language skills in a self-paced online environment. Video calls in pairs or small groups occur 1-2 times a week and are a required course component. They are comparable to the practical lab component of a science course because students speak Spanish with each other and the instructor while immediately observing and reacting to the results of their efforts to communicate.