The School for Ethics and Global Leadership - segl

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Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is SEGL?

    The School for Ethics and Global Leadership is an independent semester school in Washington, DC for intellectually motivated high school juniors. Our rigorous academic program focuses on ethical thinking skills, leadership development, and international studies. Each semester, students from public and private schools around the country join us for a challenging and rewarding experience that will change their lives, and the lives of those they touch, forever.

    I want to go, but I’m not sure how to convince my parents and my school.

    It’s only natural for parents and school leaders to be apprehensive about sending you away! The best thing to do is have them contact us with their questions and/or concerns. We’ll do our best to answer them in a positive and honest way. You might also direct them to this website. We welcome any questions they might have.

    What are your admissions criteria?

    First, students who are accepted into our community must be capable of and motivated for advanced, college-preparatory academic work. Whether your school has many resources or few, your academic record must show that you have taken full advantage of them. Second, your record must show a willingness to live by SEGL’s social contract: Because you will be given significant trust and responsibility from the beginning of the semester, you must not have a significant history of dishonest and/or irresponsible behavior—academic or otherwise. Among other ethical considerations, you must be willing to spend your time at the school drug and alcohol free (please do not apply if you think you might be tempted to break this rule!). Third, your personal essay and your teacher recommendations must show a commitment to the mission of our school. That is, every accepted student should be motivated to use the school’s resources to shape herself or himself into an ethical leader who will create positive change in our world.

    I’m hoping to go to a top-tier undergraduate institution. Will SEGL help in the college admissions process?

    Of course it will! SEGL is a chance to show you can do advanced academic work alongside the best students from public and private schools around the country. SEGL will also provide individualized college counseling for you, and you will have the opportunity to visit many of the area’s top institutions, including Georgetown, George Washington, American, and Howard universities. Your time at SEGL may lead to a unique college essay, too. Most important, SEGL will prepare you for college itself: boarding with a roommate, managing your time, living away from your family, and doing exciting intellectual work. The schools most frequently attended by SEGL graduates are Brown, Duke, George Washington, Georgetown, Harvard, NYU, Tufts, Wesleyan, and Yale.

    SEGL seems like a great idea, but I’m worried I’ll miss my friends, my family, and my extracurricular activities.

    Deciding to spend four months with us in DC will be a hard decision, but we wouldn’t have created this school if we didn’t think it would be worth the risk. SEGL is a chance to join an incredible group of young people who believe that they can change the world. It is a chance to learn from amazing teachers who connect your coursework to real international issues every day. It is a chance to meet real policymakers and the people who influence them, and to research and share your own answers to key policy questions. It is an investment in your future–college, career, and community. It is a chance to be inspired, and to inspire others. And it is a lot of fun, too.

    If you still are uncertain, please email admissions@schoolforethics.org. We’re more than happy to respond to any questions or concerns.

    I really want to go to SEGL, but I don’t think my family can afford it.

    SEGL is need-blind in its admissions decisions and strives to meet the demonstrated financial need of all admitted students. Families who seek financial aid should file Parent Financial Statements with the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), a program of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), by March 1st. Financial aid grants are mailed with admissions decisions by late April. SEGL will also work with families to address circumstances that the SSS does not highlight, as well as “hidden” expenses like cab fare, semester t-shirts, and business attire.

    Where will I be living?

    SEGL’s current residential facilities are located on Capitol Hill, right behind the Supreme Court, and only blocks away from Senate Office Buildings, Union Station, and the Metro. The neighborhood is safe and secure, with several members of Congress living nearby when Congress is in session. SEGL students will live in furnished rooms above basement apartments that house faculty supervisors. The townhouses also have kitchens, washer/dryers, high-speed internet access, and several common spaces. The buildings are owned and maintained by the Washington Internship Student Housing (WISH) program. WISH is a well-respected organization with a long track record of serving elite high school and college students from across the United States.

    What’s the deal with food?

    Students eat well at SEGL! Each student enjoys three healthy meals every day (brunch and dinner on Sunday) with snacks available throughout the day. We have a professional chef who cooks most lunches and dinners.  Because SEGL provides meals, students do not have to buy their own food.  SEGL also makes significant effort to fully accommodate medical, religious, and/or ethical dietary restrictions.  And from time to time (especially on Sunday mornings), students may even have the opportunity to add their own culinary expertise to the menu!

    I like being physically active—will I be able to exercise?

    The SEGL daily schedule has a block of time set aside for exercise four to five times a week, with more free time set aside on weekends for physical activity. On weekdays, students will generally have at least one hour for various forms of exercise, to be facilitated by faculty members. SEGL also has relationships with local gyms to enable exercise once the weather in DC gets less accommodating.

    How do I know if SEGL is right for me?

    Do you want to be part of a community that values honest, passionate conversation, that actively strives to make the world a better place, and that celebrates you for being exactly who you are? Do you want to learn in a challenging environment alongside peers and teachers who all want to be here, who are all motivated, and who come from remarkably diverse backgrounds? Do you believe the world needs better leaders, and do you want to become one of them? If so, then yes, SEGL is right for you! Please apply!

    What will my life be like at SEGL?

    It will be incredible! Your classes will inspire you to work harder than you have ever worked before, and with a greater sense of purpose. Your classmates and dorm mates will teach you, provoke you, make you laugh, and become some of the best friends of your life. The adults you work and live with will trust you, listen to your ideas, and give you greater responsibility than you’ve ever had in school. More than anything else, however, your life at SEGL will challenge you. SEGL will challenge you to look inside yourself, to ask tough questions, to learn from people you don’t agree with, to understand yourself as a leader, and to act to make the world better than it was when you arrived on the planet.

    And you will do it all in one of the world’s great cities. DC will provide you with the opportunity of a lifetime: to see up close how critical national and international questions are conceived, debated, and settled, with powerful stakeholders as your mentors, guides, and colleagues. DC will also bring your coursework to life: In Spanish class, you’ll visit the Venezuelan embassy and debate Hugo Chavez’s leadership. In History class, you’ll visit the Vietnam War Memorial with veterans who lost friends in the conflict. In Science class, you’ll hear from policymakers on the costs and benefits of stem cell research and nuclear power.

    What is a weekly schedule like?

    Click here to view a sample weekly schedule at SEGL.

    How do I apply for financial aid?

    Families who seek financial aid should file Parent Financial Statements with the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), a program of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). The financial aid application is due the same day as the student application. Those applying for financial aid after the deadline may not receive as comprehensive an award. Financial aid grants are mailed with admissions decisions. SEGL will also work with families to address circumstances that the SSS does not highlight.

  • What is SEGL?

    The School for Ethics and Global Leadership is an independent semester school in Washington, DC for intellectually motivated high school juniors. Our rigorous academic program focuses on ethical thinking skills, leadership development, and international studies. Each semester, students from public and private schools around the country join us for a challenging and rewarding experience that will change their lives, and the lives of those they touch, forever.

    How will I contact my child?

    All students will have access to email every day, and we allow cell phones to be used on campus at designated times and places. We also welcome visitors (particularly after the first two weeks and before the final two weeks of school). Please call ahead so we know you are coming!

    How can I be sure that my child’s transition home will be smooth?

    It is critical to our mission that your child returns home better able to create positive change in our world. Therefore, we start working to manage the academic and interpersonal transition home before the semester even begins. We communicate with sending school administrators and faculty to align our curriculum, and encourage students to update their teachers on their progress during the semester. While in DC, students also plan a capstone service leadership/social entrepreneurship organization in their local community that allows them to put their new leadership skills to work right away. And your child will connect with leaders in her or his local community who can serve as mentors/resources after returning home.

    Does SEGL have a political affiliation?

    Though political leaders from across the spectrum will meet with SEGL students throughout the semester, the school is not aligned with any political group and does not seek to promote a political agenda. Our firm belief is that ethical challenges are not solved with sound bites, but with honest reflection and dialogue that includes as many differing perspectives as possible. With this in mind, we strive consistently to provide a balanced spectrum of political ideas to our students. We will challenge your child to think deeply and critically, but we will not attempt to prescribe the outcome of her or his thinking.

    What is a weekly schedule like?

    Click here to view a sample weekly schedule at SEGL.

    Where will my child be living?

    SEGL’s current residential facility is located on Capitol Hill just one block from the Supreme Court and Senate Office Buildings and only a few blocks from Union Station and the Metro. The neighborhood is safe and secure, with several members of Congress living nearby when Congress is in session. SEGL students will live in furnished rooms above a basement apartment that houses faculty supervisors. The townhouse also has a kitchen, washer/dryers, internet access, and several common spaces. The building is owned and maintained by the Washington Internship Student Housing (WISH) program. WISH is a well-respected organization with a long track record of serving high school and college students from across the United States. Depending on student needs, there is the possibility that SEGL will move to another similar, nearby residential facility in the future.

    What’s the deal with food?

    Students eat well at SEGL!  Each student enjoys three healthy meals every day (brunch and dinner on Sunday) with snacks available throughout the day. Because SEGL provides meals, students do not have to buy their own food.  SEGL also makes significant effort to fully accommodate medical, religious, and/or ethical dietary restrictions.  And from time to time (especially on Sunday mornings), students may even have the opportunity to add their own culinary expertise to the menu!

    Is SEGL a safe place to send my child?

    Yes! First, your child will be safe because we chose SEGL’s location with safety as a top priority. Our neighborhood is one of the safest in DC. Second, your child will be safe because we are very strict when it comes to knowing where each of our students is at all times. Students here follow a firm set of whereabouts guidelines, and may not leave the dorm after hours. Third, your child will be safe because we will never forget how precious she or he is to you, to our school community, and to the world. This means we will always be vigilant, even when it seems like we don’t have to be. Please contact us with any specific safety concerns as the semester continues.

    Who will be teaching my child?

    An experienced, highly-motivated faculty with degrees from institutions like Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Duke, Dartmouth, Wesleyan, and Haverford. Our academic dean, Gray Pedersen, chaired the History Department at Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington for many years.  Our Director, Noah Bopp, is a graduate of the prestigious Klingenstein Private School Leadership program at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Your child will be in good hands!

    Will SEGL help my child’s college search?

    Yes. SEGL is a chance for your child to show that she or he can do advanced academic work alongside the best students from public and private schools around the country. SEGL also provides individualized college counseling, and your child will have the opportunity to visit many of the area’s top institutions, including Georgetown, George Washington, American, and Howard universities. In addition, your child’s time at SEGL may lead to a unique college essay. Most important, SEGL will prepare your daughter or son for college itself: boarding with a roommate, managing time, living away from family, and doing exciting intellectual work.  The colleges most frequently attended by our graduates are Brown, Duke, George Washington, Georgetown, Harvard, NYU, Tufts, Wesleyan, and Yale.

    How do I apply for financial aid?

    Families who seek financial aid should file Parent Financial Statements with the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), a program of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). The financial aid application is due the same day as the student application. Those applying for financial aid after the deadline may not receive as comprehensive an award. Financial aid grants are mailed with admissions decisions. SEGL will also work with families to address circumstances that the SSS does not highlight.

    Will our family be able to afford SEGL?

    We are working very hard to ensure that the answer is yes. A semester of tuition, plus room and board, is $22,990. Additional expenses for insurance, travel, optional off-board meals, and souvenirs vary widely. Financial aid for all of these expenses is available, and continual efforts to raise more funds for aid purposes is something SEGL takes very seriously. SEGL strives to meet the demonstrated financial need of all admitted students. We urge all students, including those who cannot afford full tuition, to apply. Please contact us if you are concerned about funding your child’s SEGL education. We will make every effort to ensure that if your child is offered admission, she or he will be able to attend.

  • What is SEGL?

    The School for Ethics and Global Leadership is an independent semester school in Washington, DC for intellectually motivated high school juniors. Our rigorous academic program focuses on ethical thinking skills, leadership development, and international studies. Each semester, students from public and private schools around the country join us for a challenging and rewarding experience that will change their lives, and the lives of those they touch, forever.

    Can I donate something other than money to SEGL?

    Yes! To donate appreciable securities, please contact us for instructions. We are also always on the lookout for computer, copying, and other technology; for new or gently used furniture; and, of course, for volunteers! And if you have property in DC that we could use for living and/or teaching space, please contact SEGL Director Noah Bopp.

    All contributions of property are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

    I have a question about online donations that isn’t answered here. Whom can I contact?

    There is a page of donor FAQs on the Network for Good web site; you can also contact them via email. For SEGL pledge-related questions, click here.

    Is my online donation secure?

    Yes. We use Network for Good, a nationally recognized leader in charitable donation processing, to facilitate our online donations. You can find out more at networkforgood.org.

    Can I donate online?

    Yes! Visit the Support SEGL page for details on donating through Kindful, a well-known company that processes thousands of charitable donations every day.

    How can I support SEGL?

    Thanks for your interest in supporting us! Please visit the Give page to find out more. At this stage, we are especially grateful for scholarship support—every dollar brings us closer to our goal. Several naming opportunities are available; please contact SEGL Director Noah Bopp at noah.bopp@schoolforethics.org for more information.

    How do I know that SEGL is a reputable institution?

    SEGL is staffed and supported by experienced educators. Our academic program is highly rigorous and college preparatory, and we offer several AP or AP-level courses. SEGL has dozens of highly competitive sending schools (click here to see entire list) committed to promoting SEGL and sending students. We are affiliated with several of DC’s most prestigious institutions, and our board includes several influential members of DC think tanks, universities, and companies.

    Does SEGL have a political affiliation?

    Though political leaders from across the spectrum will meet with SEGL students throughout the semester, the school is not aligned with any political group and does not seek to promote a political agenda. Our firm belief is that ethical challenges are not solved with sound bites, but with honest reflection and dialogue that includes as many differing responsible perspectives as possible. With this in mind, we strive consistently to provide a balanced spectrum of political ideas to our students. We will challenge students to think deeply and critically, but we will not attempt to prescribe the outcome of their thinking.

    How will SEGL support ethical leadership and change throughout the United States?

    64 students a year will come through SEGL’s doors. Each student will learn how to look at the world in an informed, ethical way and how to put the newfound knowledge into action. With the help of a student’s advisor, peers, and teachers, each student will develop a service learning project to confront a challenge in the local, national, or global community. Work on this service project will begin while enrolled at SEGL, but is designed to continue when the student returns home. This means that each year SEGL will help foster a minimum of 64 ethical leadership projects across the United States (through annual alumni events SEGL will promote additional alumni leadership projects). In addition, through SEGL’s partnership with the National Association of Independent Schools, faculty fellows from around the country will join the SEGL faculty, learn our model, and design a satellite program to implement at their home school. The partnership will bring our model to 8-10 new schools and hundreds of students each year.

    What curriculum support does SEGL have?

    SEGL has curriculum support from numerous institutions a few of which are listed below.

    • American University Center for Global Peace
      Ashoka
    • Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
    • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    • Georgetown University Mortara Center
    • Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
  • How does my school become a sending school?

    Please contact our Admissions Team at admissions@schoolforethics.org for more information and/or to schedule a meeting.

    What about financial aid?

    Many sending schools develop a special sending school relationship with us by making their students’ financial aid packages “portable.” SEGL strives to meet the demonstrated financial need of all admitted students and has funds to help families who cannot pay the full cost of attending.

    What about “lost tuition”?

    Most sending schools manage enrollment to limit or eliminate the effect of allowing students to leave for a semester. (SEGL can help provide guidance in this process.) Ideally, SEGL furthers a sending school’s mission and is not seen as a potential resource drain.  It is also worth noting that many sending schools use their relationship with SEGL to attract outstanding students and (at day schools) to retain those who might otherwise attend boarding institutions.

    Why should our school become a sending school?
    1. Mission Alignment
      The most important reason to become an SEGL sending school is mission alignment. SEGL’s mission is to provide a diverse group of intellectually motivated high school juniors from across the United States with the best possible opportunity to shape themselves into ethical leaders who will create positive change in our world. We encourage schools with similar goals to consider becoming a sending school.
    2. Outstanding Academic Preparation
      SEGL’s curriculum is demanding, practical, collaborative, and interdisciplinary. In addition to honors/AP-level courses in English, U.S. History, U.S. Government, Comparative Government, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and language, SEGL requires an Ethics and Leadership class and an Introduction to Arabic and Chinese Language and Culture class.
    3. A Unique Opportunity
      SEGL immerses students in the challenges facing the international community. It places the full scope of Washington, DC resources at students’ fingertips: public policy practitioners, NGOs, elected officials, embassies, and leading academics.
    4. College Admissions
      Students who attend SEGL should be well-positioned in the college admissions process. They will have completed a rigorous academic program alongside outstanding students from around the country that includes three capstone projects: A personal Credo; a collaborative, meticulously researched policy document; and a meaningful leadership project in their home community.
    What is SEGL?

    The School for Ethics and Global Leadership is an independent semester school in Washington, DC for intellectually motivated high school juniors. Our rigorous academic program focuses on ethical thinking skills, leadership development, and international studies. Each semester, students from public and private schools around the country join us for a challenging and rewarding experience that will change their lives, and the lives of those they touch, forever.