Summer Seminar in Critical Black Studies (TASS-CBS)

Summer Seminar in Critical Black Studies (TASS-CBS)

What is TASS-CBS?

This summer, 56 high school sophomores and juniors (“rising juniors” and “rising seniors”) will participate in one of four six-week educational programs on topics related to Critical Black Studies. The programs will be held at Cornell University and the University of Maryland.

Telluride works with faculty to create exciting courses designed to inspire young people to explore the histories, politics, literature, and art of people of African descent. We cover all program costs for every student, including tuition, books, room and board, field trips, and facilities fees.

What do participants do?

If you participate in TASS-CBS, you will attend a three-hour college-level class each day, which will typically include discussions, small-group work, lectures by faculty, and other activities. You will be expected to read books and articles, view films and art, and participate in other class activities. You will also write essays during the summer, with help and feedback from the instructor team. Outside of class, you will participate in a public speaking program with your classmates and hear lectures from guest speakers visiting the TASS-CBS house. You and your classmates will also have a say in what the program does. You will work together democratically to create an inclusive environment, manage money, and make other important decisions.

Who teaches TASS-CBS?

Two faculty members teach each class. All of our faculty are enthusiastic about the program, and they often rank TASS as one of their most rewarding experiences as teachers. There will also be a teaching assistant for each class. They will lead writing workshops and provide additional help to students with critical reading and writing skills. 

In addition to the instructor team, there will be two resident advisors assigned to each program. Many of these resident advisors attended TASS themselves and chose to return to give back and share this transformative experience with others. They live with the students, helping them create a tight-knit environment where students can explore the principles and practices of community living and democracy.

What will I get out of TASS-CBS?

At TASS-CBS, you will improve your reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills as you explore your interests in and out of the classroom. In order to encourage students in their love of learning, the program does not assign grades. You will also learn about and explore topics and ideas within Critical Black Studies. Finally, you will gain experience with community living and democratic decision-making.

TASS Is Completely Free!

We cover all of the program costs—tuition, books, room and board, and field trips—for every student. If you need, we can help pay for all or part of your travel costs to and from the program. We understand that you may normally spend time in the summer working at a job, taking care of family members, or supporting your family in other ways. If this is the situation for you, we can provide additional financial aid to help replace earnings from your summer job. Financial aid decisions are made separately from decisions about program admission, so needing financial aid won’t affect whether you are accepted to the program.