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Welcome to SCU and the LEAD Scholars Program!

LEAD Week will be back next Fall 2023! 

Questions? Please email us at 


LEAD Week Activities

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. 

To answer some of your LEAD Week and Campus Move-In questions, please review these LEAD Week FAQs. 

English 1, Critical Thinking and Writing

All first-year students will be introduced to the academics of Santa Clara University by beginning their English 1A (Critical Thinking and Writing 1) class early. Transfer students are also required to take ENGL 1A if they have not yet fulfilled their introductory English requirements. 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

All participants will also take a one-week elective course of their choosing in such fields as Engineering, Ethnic Studies, Mathematics, Business, Chemistry, Biology or Religious Studies. These courses take place every day of LEAD Week. 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 an introductory course designed to introduce you to the ways that religion impacts our daily lives.  We will especially pay attention to the relationships between religion and science and look closely at the ways that religious views are impacting the continuing fall-out of the COVID-19 global emergency.  Have you ever wondered why a religious person accepts or rejects vaccines?  We will delve into those types of issues.  In addition, we will look at the impact of religious views on politics.  Have you ever wondered why people from the same religious group have opposite political views?  We will delve into that as well.  Our short time together will focus intensely on how religions have an impact on the way we live even though we may not know it or be religious.  Finally, we will consider SCU's Religious Studies Department and its approach to all these issues.  There is no homework for this one week course.

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.

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.

Community Building

LEAD Week is where you'll meet some of your first and closest friends! LEAD Scholars participate in community building activities led by peer mentors that introduce students each other, the LEAD community, campus resources and SCU academics. We will also host workshops and large group activities to learn more about campus, connect with each other and have fun!

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 and new students' first year. 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.

We also have a Transfer Student Team of peer mentors and Seminar peer educators to support our new transfer students. 

The LEAD Scholars Program staff will support your educational path throughout your four years at Santa Clara University. The LEAD staff organizes all areas of the LEAD Scholars Program including LEAD Week and the LEAD Scholar Seminar courses.

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.

The humanities are about discovering the past and ourselves. This mini-course focuses on art history. As we analyze political propaganda, portraits, pop culture and high art, we will consider the complexity of reality and identity, find new takes on old histories, and see how diverse artists and influencers today draw on history to critique or shape the present. Along the way, we will learn about fields of study and classes in the humanities, the kinds of projects students do, and how students plan to apply their skills after graduation.