Rising High School Seniors –Apply by May 31, 2024

2022 students

Summer 2022 seminar participants

Rising high school seniors from across south central Pennsylvania and elsewhere are invited to apply for the free, two-week Knowledge for Freedom seminar taking place this July on the historic campus of Dickinson College in Carlisle (July 14-July 26, 2024). The program is highly competitive and provides preference to low-income or first-generation college students.

Hosted for the fourth summer in a row by Dickinson’s  House Divided Project, the college-level seminar will explore the historic struggle for freedom in the United States. It’s part of the Knowledge for Freedom program, an initiative from the Teagle Foundation that helps introduce students to a series of great texts addressing fundamental questions about freedom, democracy and self-government.   

“We have had some extraordinary success with this wonderful program,” reports seminar director Matthew Pinsker. “Participants from our summer seminar have been accepted at some of the nation’s most highly selective colleges including not only Dickinson, but also two from last summer to Harvard and others over the years at great schools like Franklin & Marshall College, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Williams College, and Yale University.  And practically everyone who has participated so far testifies to the life-changing impact of the experience.”  

Here are some comments directly from the student participants:

  • “I found strategies that I use all the time in school now, and I have become a much better student because of it… I cannot stress enough just how important and beneficial the environment you curated was. It was the most supportive environment I have ever been a part of.”
  • I do want to say thank you, for the opportunity you gave me by letting me join the Teagle program which has forever changed me. I went in as a student who was barely focused and had no clue what she wanted to do. You put me around amazing people and students, who are passionate about what they are doing and learning. That pushed me to do the same.
  • “This program has been one of the best times of my life. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it.”
  • “It is a great opportunity for students to understand what college is really about. The assignments get you ready for college and staying on campus in dorms gets you ready for college life. It was an all-around great experience.”

Former participant Etsub Taye (below) is at Dickinson and serves as a tutor for the seminar

2022 participant Cameron Nye (below) is a first-generation college student at Yale 

In addition to enjoying a college-style experience this summer on the beautiful Dickinson campus, seminar participants will take field trips to the Gettysburg battlefield and Washington, D.C.  The seminar is free for participants and includes residential room and board. Select students will also be eligible to continue their studies online to receive college credit for their completed course work.  All participants will benefit from extensive mentoring and guidance as they navigate the college admissions process during their senior year of high school.    

Highlights from our 2021 seminar

Highlights from our 2022 seminar

Highlights from our 2023 seminar


Texts for the 2024 seminar include speeches and writings by Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Phillis Wheatley, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Martin Luther King, Jr., among several other great historical figures.

Program faculty includes Professor Matthew Pinsker, Director of the House Divided Project and scholar of the American Civil War and Abraham Lincoln, Associate Professor Lynn Johnson, Africana Studies and a noted expert on African American literature, and Dr. Todd Mealy, adjunct professor of history at Dickinson and social studies teacher at JP McCaskey High School.  

Applications are due by May 31, 2023.  For more details and to apply, visit https://housedivided.dickinson.edu/sites/teagle/how-to-apply/ or email: pinskerm@dickinson.edu.

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