Lectures take place every morning, with either a Yale faculty member or local practitioner speaking on a topic of their expertise. Lectures are intended to expose students to a wide array of new ideas and perspectives, as well as challenge them with first-year university level material. Past topics have included financial markets in Africa, African languages in a globalizing world, and opportunities and challenges of cyberspace, to name only a few. Some of the lectures in each session are dedicated to personal development and growth, inspiring each YYAS student to embrace their full leadership potential.
Discussion sections follow most lectures, and are led by a Yale student instructor. The instructors facilitate a conversation between a smaller group of students on the day’s lecture. Students are expected to voice their opinions, debate varied perspectives and defend their arguments.
Seminars are designed and led by Yale student instructors, who will craft lessons and assign readings to YYAS participants ahead of their arrival at the program. The instructor will delve into a topic with the goal of having students understand and debate a specific set of arguments. Past seminars have included such varied subjects as Education for Liberation, Design for the Developing World, Why Do We Sleep?, Foreign Aid in Africa, and the Ethics of Stem Cell Research, to name a few. Students will select their preferences for seminars in advance, and are expected to come having closely read and formed an opinion on the assigned material. The seminar style classroom is a typical feature of most US college educations, and give participants a taste of what they will experience in university.
Workshops are held every evening of the YYAS program. Students are placed into groups of 6-8 students with a Yale student instructor to work on specific aspects of the US college application in-depth. Each workshop is dedicated to a different portion of the application, such as the Common Application, standardized testing, choosing your schools, and several other crucial components. Students are expected to write a draft of their personal essays during the course of the week-long program, and will get individual feedback from their workshop leader. Most importantly, students will get the chance to seek advice from a current university student who has been through this process before and can help guide participants towards relevant resources.