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Carleton Liberal Arts Experience

The CLAE program introduces the strengths of a liberal arts education through an array of courses in science, art, social sciences, and technology.

The CLAE program introduces the strengths of a liberal arts education through an array of courses in science, art, social sciences, and technology.


The CLAE Program

We’re honored to host a free, inspiring summer program designed for the best and brightest college-bound students from high schools across the country. The Carleton Liberal Arts Experience (CLAE) supports 52 high school students who have just completed their sophomore year to come to Carleton for a one-week, academic summer program, all expenses paid by Carleton. CLAE introduces students to the strengths of a liberal arts education through an array of courses in science, art, social sciences, and technology, and also focuses heavily on preparing students for the college search and application process. CLAE Scholars will take compelling courses with a number of Carleton faculty members throughout the week and will also participate in workshops led by a variety of Carleton staff members.

Recent CLAE course offerings include:

    • DNA Fingerprinting: The Science of Forensics
    • The African American Experience
    • Religion and the Black Freedom Struggle
    • Motown and American Culture
    • Schooling, Opportunity, & Identities in the U.S
    • The Achievement Gap

Recent college application workshop offerings include:

    • ACT & SAT Preparation
    • Keys to Getting Into College: What You Need to Know about the Application Process and Financial Aid
    • Write Your Way In: Strategies for Success on Your College Application

CLAE Scholars are supported by Carleton faculty members, staff from the Admissions Office, and current Carleton students. CLAE Scholars live in Carleton residence halls and eat in our dining halls for the duration of the program, and all program activities are planned and fully funded by Carleton. This includes paying for transportation to and from campus and for all housing and dining costs while students participate in the program.

Program Dates

CLAE is a one-week, academic summer program and CLAE Scholars are expected to be on campus the entire length of the program. This year, CLAE runs Saturday, July 11th to Saturday, July 18th.

Who should apply?

Students of African American descent or students who have an interest in African American culture are encouraged to apply for CLAE. Applicants must be college-bound high school students who are current sophomores. The CLAE program occurs in the summer between sophomore and junior year of high school and only student who are about to enter their junior year of high school will be considered. Please note that the selection process for CLAE is competitive, and successful applicants tend to demonstrate not only great academic promise but also a strong level of community involvement.

Application Details

The CLAE application is straightforward. We ask you to answer a few questions and share some information about your current high school record. The application is completed online, and includes:

  • application form
  • several short-answer essays
  • current high school report card or transcript (this should include your sophomore year schedule and grades from the fall of 10th grade)
  • one recommendation letter from a teacher, counselor, or mentor
  • This year, materials are due: April 12, 2019

Please note that applicants will only be considered for CLAE once they have completed their application and all of the above supporting materials have been received by the CLAE staff. Just like in the college application process, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all materials have been turned in by the correct deadline.

Prior to CLAE, I had never been surrounded by so many self-motivated, tenacious, and gifted students. CLAE truly exposed me to a part of myself that I had never known.
Peter Uwalaka '07
CLAE Scholar '01, Carleton College '07, Harvard University Graduate School of Education '10
"I am applying to Carleton because I appreciate what the school has done for me. My first trip to Minnesota was for CLAE and it was my very first flight alone. It was one of the greatest opportunities I've been given."
DeLante Blagburn '23
Greenville, SC
"I was excited to experience liberal arts, and during my stay on campus I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved how engaged everyone was during the seminars, expressing well thought out opinions and ideas while also actively listening to what others had to say."
Javin White '20
Bowie, MD
"CLAE is where it all started for me. I attended the program with 49 other African American students and fell in love with the school...I felt like I belonged on campus."
Brittany Deweaver '20
Oakland, CA

CLAE Staff

Wenie Lado

Wenie Lado

Director of CLAE

staff photo

Carleen Thurnblad

Administrative Assistant in Admissions for Multicultural Recruitment & Outreach