Summer Academic Institute: Coursework Overview

Students take classes that help develop math, science, writing, language, and leadership skills. Student, seen from behind, at work on an assignment outdoors

Each grade level is divided into two cohorts that take courses together to encourage both community and individual learning. The Summer Academic Institute curriculum is designed to intuitivey build on the work that students perform in the previous year. So as students progress through CUUB, they grow with the program and find themselves in a better academic position each time they return to high school.



group of students spread out in a single line at the mountain summit

Native Pathways to Postsecondary Success

CUUB recognizes the unique challenges that our Native youth face, and we believe that a typically constructed Upward Bound curriculum, despite its rigors, is insufficient to address those challenges. The CUUB Summer curriculum has therefore been constructed to fully embrace the idea of what it means to serve Native American students and prepare them for college.

CUUB students attend the Summer Academic Institute for three years, and each year their curriculum is centered around the concepts of community, cultural empowerment, and college readiness. For this reason, all students are enrolled in Native Pathways courses, which are designed to provide students with the tools and the vocabulary they need to access institutions of higher learning without compromising their cultural identities. These courses blend indigenous histories with college preparation, leadership concepts with study skills, and communal learning with personal empowerment techniques. Through the combination of the Native Pathways curriculum and the vital and rigorous courses that CUUB students are enrolled in, the Summer Academic Institute prepares students for postsecondary success in a comprehensive and holistic manner that addresses the unique needs of our students.  


The following is an example of the kinds of courses offered during a typical Summer Academic Institute:



First Year

(rising sophomores)
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  • Biology
  • Creative Writing
  • Math (varies with student)
  • Non-English Language
  • Native Pathways I
  • Elective (Advanced Creative Writing, Outdoor Fitness, Broadcast Journalism, Astronomy, and Environmental Learning: Exploring Sacred Landscape) 

Second Year

(rising juniors)
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  • Chemistry
  • Math (varies with student)
  • Native American Literature
  • Native Pathways II
  • Electives (Advanced Creative Writing, Outdoor Fitness, Broadcast Journalism, Astronomy, and Environmental Learning: Exploring Sacred Landscape) 

Third Year

(rising seniors)
view full course descriptions 

  • Physics
  • Math (varies with student)
  • Research and Writing
  • College Prep
  • ACT Prep (Math and English)
  • Native Pathways III