Campus Closure

Classes are canceled through the weekend due to air quality. Get the latest updates.


LEAD Week takes places the week before fall quarter begins. This is a one-week program that is of no cost to student participants, and mandatory for all new LEAD Scholars. 

First year students are introduced to the academics of Santa Clara University by beginning their English 1A (Critical Thinking and Writing 1) class early. Transfer students also take English 1A if they have not fulfilled their introductory English course. Transfer students who have completed their introductory English courses participate in a series of transfer student meetings that introduce them to SCU.

All participants also take a one-week elective course of their choosing in such fields as Engineering, Ethnic Studies, Mathematics, Business or Religious Studies. LEAD Week also offers workshops that familiarize students with university resources and culture. Lastly, peer mentors coordinate a various
team-building activities to engage students and foster community among LEAD Scholars.

In early August, all participants will receive an email with more LEAD Week information and forms to complete. The forms must be completed by Wednesday, August 15, 2018.

For LEAD Scholars who are living on campus, please plan to move on to campus on Sunday, September 9, 2018 between 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Check-in for LEAD Week and Housing will take place at the Graham Residence Hall so please start there and then you'll be directed to parking for your residence hall. Since it can take several hours to unpack and settle in, please plan to allow plenty of time before we gather at 3:30 p.m. for a 4:00 reception with you and your family.

For LEAD Scholars commuting to campus, please plan to arrive on Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. for a commuter student meeting. Check in for LEAD Week and the Commuter Student meeting will take place in Graham Residence Hall. Please bring your family if they are able to join you. During this time you and your family members will have a chance to meet with incoming students who will be commuting, as well as commuter LEAD Scholars who are now sophomores, juniors and seniors. After this meeting, we will have a 4:00 reception for you and your family.

The reception will be followed by a multilingual discussion for families on college life. This will be followed by a dinner just for students.

Family and friends are encouraged to join students during LEAD Check-In Day to help with move-in and learn more about college life during the commuter student meeting, reception and multilingual college information session. 

Please be aware that no visitors (including parents, family, friends) are allowed during the rest of LEAD Week. Additionally, scholars are not allowed to leave the campus during the program, unless as part of an organized LEAD Week activity. For more information on these policies, please read the frequently asked questions section and the LEAD Week contract.


All incoming LEAD Scholars are expected to participate in LEAD Week. This program is designed to help scholars make a smooth transition from high school into college life both academically and socially. It is an opportunity to learn about the expectations of college courses by participating in college level classes. In addition, scholars will learn about the social and academic resources on campus, and have a supportive network of faculty, staff, and peers that will extend beyond LEAD Week.

English 1, Critical Thinking and Writing

All first year LEAD Scholars enroll in the ENGL 1A class with a LEAD Week faculty member. Transfer students are also required to take ENGL 1A if they have not yet fulfilled their introductory English courses. These students will continue with the same professor and cohort group through the fall quarter. Course work in the ENGL 1A class during LEAD Week will count towards the final grade in the fall quarter. It is mandatory that students attend all class sessions, participate in class, complete all essay assignments and daily readings. Scholars will continue into ENGL 2A in winter quarter with the same cohort and instructor.

LEAD Transfer Student Meetings

Transfer students who have completed their introductory English requirement will participate in a series of transfer student meetings to introduce them to SCU.

LEAD Week Elective

These courses last from Monday through Friday of LEAD Week. All LEAD Scholars participate in the elective and can choose from five different elective classes. The classes are: Mathematics, Ethnic Studies, Religious Studies, Business or Engineering. On your LEAD Week forms due in August, you will be asked to select one of these courses. Please use the following descriptions to select a course. These classes will not be graded and will not go on a student's permanent record. However, the courses are an integral part of LEAD Week, and it is mandatory that scholars attend all class sessions, participate in class discussions, and complete homework assignments and exams.

Elective Course Descriptions

This is a course designed to introduce you to some new skills, and review some old ones, to get you ready for your math courses.  We will concentrate on the basics, in both short lectures and group work, to make sure you are comfortable starting your college math career.

This course is an abbreviated version of an Ethnic Studies/Theatre/English course offered during the year titled American Theatre from the Black Perspective. In this shorter version of the course, students will explore the contributions renowned playwright August Wilson has made to American Theatre through a close reading and analysis of one of his most significant plays. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to make critical connections between the specific themes in the play and contemporary issues related to race, gender, and class in America today. This course is primarily discussion-based, but will include lectures, film screenings, and daily in-class writing.  

This is an introductory course designed to introduce you to the many different non-religious ways of understanding religion, formally known as methodology of religion. The class will consist of a mix of lectures and group discussion. We will all seek to understand the roots of our own personal definitions of religion while simultaneously learning about academic (non-religious) understandings of religion which will include anthropological, sociological, psychological, and philosophical viewpoints. Respect for all spiritual traditions will be the dominant theme. At the end of the course, the students will be expected to be able to analyze their own personal understandings with any of these viewpoints, as well as be able to use their own personal understanding of religion to analyze academic viewpoints. While the basis of this course is religious studies, the overall goal is to increase reading ability, comprehension and analysis of text, and communication with professor in the classroom. This course will involve daily readings and in-class discussions.

In this course, students will get some exposure to engineering and explore what it means to be an engineer in terms of both academic and career paths. We will discuss the design process that engineers employ and apply principles of science and mathematics to achieve solutions to engineering problems. Students will learn logic principles and test their understanding by applying them to simple real world applications. We will then engage in a brief discussion on sensors, and how to capture data from the real world such as temperature, pressure etc. The students will then utilize logic to process the sensory data and design a home automation system. We will implement a "backyard" motion detector using electronic components and test the design to see if and how it functions.

This course will expose students to a variety of Business Topics. For example, we will explore what employers expect from college graduates. Knowing what employers look for in a new graduate will give these students ideas as to what they need to do while in college to prepare themselves for the "real world". The course will also cover some controversial topics such as Globalization and some fun issues such as Business Myths.

Leadership Development

All Scholars must attend and participate in all learning skills and resource workshops. Workshops will be conducted throughout the duration of LEAD Week with the aim to present learning skills necessary to prepare you for the demands of college life, as well as to introduce you to SCU people and resources vital to your future success. The ultimate goal is for students to become their own advocates and leaders in their academic careers.

Team/Community Building

LEAD Scholars must attend and participate in all team/community building activities both on and off campus. Through LEAD Week we hope that you will create and establish a community with your fellow LEAD Scholars who will also serve as a resource and peer support through your Santa Clara University experience.

LEAD Scholars Seminar

During the academic year, first year students will be enrolled in LEAD 1 and 2, college transition seminar courses which take place in fall and winter quarter. Transfer students will be enrolled in LEAD 101 which takes place in fall quarter. The seminar is a two-unit course that meets once a week. In the seminars we discuss important topics and sharing vital university information regarding college transition experiences, campus resources, leadership opportunities and vocation exploration.

LEAD Week Team

Lead Week is successful due to the support and efforts of our LEAD Week Team. Santa Clara University faculty from various departments will teach courses and help scholars understand the expectations of college-level course work and faculty/student relationship. The faculty will go beyond the classroom experience, and share with scholars the need to create strong bonds with faculty, share important study tips, and serve as an additional resource to scholars.

ENGL 1 and LEAD Seminar courses also have English Peer Educators and Seminar Peer Educators, current Santa Clara University students, who provide academic support. Among other responsibilities they may provide tutoring, and lead and participate in class discussions. These students continue as peer educators through LEAD Week, and fall and winter quarters.

Peer Mentors are current Santa Clara University students who will facilitate peer mentor meetings throughout LEAD Week. Peer Mentors will share their experience as SCU students, providing important tips on how to navigate the SCU system, and answer questions for our incoming scholars. Peer Mentors will also coordinate fun activities and team building sessions.

The LEAD Scholars Program staff, including the Director and Assistant Director will support your educational path throughout your four years at Santa Clara University. The Director and Assistant Director, with the help of the Administrative Assistant, organize all areas of the LEAD Scholars Program including LEAD Week and the LEAD Scholars Seminar.

9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. On-campus student check-in and move-in

Park at Benson Parking Lot

On campus students check in, Graham Residence Hall, Room 163


2:00 p.m. Commuter student check-in

Park at Benson Parking Lot, Cowell Parking Lot or the Parking Garage
Commuter student check in, Graham Residence Hall, Room 163


2:30-3:30 p.m. Commuter student meeting. Please bring your family. Graham Residence Hall, Room 164


3:30 p.m. Gather to go to reception

For on campus students, gather in front of residence halls.

For commuter students, go with commuter student meeting group.


4:00-5:00 p.m. Welcome and reception for students and families, Locatelli Student Activities Center


5:00-6:00 p.m. Multilingual family information session, throughout Benson Center


6:00-7:30 p.m. Dinner for LEAD Scholars (students only), California Mission Room, Benson Center


Monday, September 10 through Friday, September 14, 2018

8:30-8:50 a.m. Breakfast
9:00-10:50 a.m. English Course (ENGL 1A) and Transfer Student Meeting
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Elective Course in Engineering, Mathematics, Religious Studies or Business
12:10-1:10 p.m. Lunch
1:20-2:40 p.m. Peer Mentor Meetings
2:50-3:50 p.m. College Success Workshop
4:00-5:00 p.m. Free time
5:10-6:30 p.m Large Group Activity
6:40-7:40 p.m. Dinner
LEAD Week will officially end after a celebration dinner which begins on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

In this course, students will be introduced to the process of science through the lens of biology. We will learn about cell structure and function, using the neuron as an example, and we will develop and test hypotheses about neuron function with a hands-on set of experiments in the lab. Lab skills will include measuring reagents and making solutions, pipetting skills, dilutions and formula calculations, as well as some basic approaches to label and image neurons with microscopy.

In this course, we will learn about the logic and math of chemistry to help first year students prepare for college-level science courses. We will apply numerical skills to help solve “real world” chemistry-related research problems. Students will be introduced to computer-based tools to help visualize and analyze data collected by undergraduate students in a chemistry research lab.