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DCID Summer Academic Institute

The institute is designed to prepare Sanford graduate fellows for the rigors of U.S. graduate-level education. MIDP international students are either required or encouraged to participate. The institute will develop and strengthen your academic and public policy-related communication and computer skills, as well as help you acclimate to the U.S. graduate-level academic environment. Incoming students may register for the institute by completing the registration form and emailing it to MIDP.

Participants in the Summer Academic Institute will learn:

  • Advanced academic, policy-related writing techniques

  • Improved listening, speaking and presentation skills

  • Upper-level academic reading strategies with a focus on international development

  • Graduate-level classroom and social interaction skills

  • Cross-cultural adjustment and U.S. academic expectations

  • Policy-focused communication style and strategies

  • Microsoft Excel, Sakai and other computer software programs

You will attend two morning classes, Monday through Friday, one focused on reading and writing, the other on speaking and listening. The afternoons will be dedicated to computer training as well as academic research and group projects. The program will coordinate with MIDP’s orientation schedule.

You will be immersed in English for academic and policy purposes, improve your computer skills and gain exposure to university resources while learning about and experiencing the culture of graduate education in the U.S. The curriculum is organized around the following courses and projects:

Public Speaking Course

Policy and international development-related activities include interacting one-on-one with students and faculty, participating in small groups and class discussions, listening to lectures and giving oral presentations. Topics include:

  • Understanding academic lectures

  • Active listening

  • U.S. conversation patterns

  • Participating in class discussions

  • Organizing and delivering oral presentations

Reading and Writing Course

This course will require you to read and respond to authentic materials regarding U.S. culture and public policy and to research and complete writing assignments inside and outside the classroom. Topics include:

  • Reading for main ideas

  • Reading for bias

  • Textual analysis

  • The writing process

  • Generating original thinking

  • Writing style

Computer Skills Sessions

These sessions will focus on improving your computer skills to better prepare you for MIDP coursework and your professional life after MIDP. Sessions will include programs such as Microsoft Excel, Sakai, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Endnote (software for managing bibliographies and citations).

Independent Learning Projects (ILP)

You will focus on special interest topics, do research, write and present a summary paper and be part of a small group.