Course Overview

Have you ever wanted to jump to the front of the line and help make a broken or difficult situation better? Have you ever wanted to help others you care about to achieve their best? Whether young or old, there are specific muscles you can exercise in order to take a creative leap to the forefront of other influencers. This leadership development course recognizes that creative leaders are those who are best able to tell stories which motivate our common potential—proclaiming why our lives matter and what we are capable of accomplishing either individually or together as a community.

In this course, students will work individually and collaboratively on a series of activist art projects both for online exhibition and to use as portfolio pieces for college applications. Creative leaders make a positive difference by persuading others to do likewise; as students name injustices in the world that they want to make better, they will also authentically communicate their visual depictions of difficulties overcome and possibilities imagined. This course is a staging area for creative leaps that make a change for the better.

This course is part of a series of new online programming offered by Syracuse University Arts Education as a means for developing the next generation of creative leaders. Students in this course will be equipped with tools for a socially responsible approach to leadership. Creative leadership takes practice and involves leadership experiments that we can learn from even if at first they fail to achieve the outcomes we are working towards. Creative leaders might become educators, artists, authors, architects, inventors, or entrepreneurs—but what they share in their origin as thought leaders is their power to generate stories to live by. Stories that capture our attention and focus our energies. Stories that matter and which are then cast out into the world as art, artifacts, articles, influences, innovations, enterprises, or social movements that become the next models of what matters to others.

This course is open to Syracuse University undergrads.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University credit or noncredit transcript.

Course Objectives

  • Convert several leadership models presented during the course into strategies for creative and artistic interventions aimed at improving both the communities and the natural environments we live in.
  • Demonstrate creative leadership by envisioning and designing several art projects (e.g., a political cartoon; a poster; a photo essay; a billboard; magazine cover; a public installation; an art lesson, etc.) to reach audiences with an important message across various educational and social settings.
  • Articulate how to represent and effectively give voice to collaborators, community partners, common stakeholders, and the voiceless alike for the cause of achieving greater equity and better social worlds.
  • Model the importance of protest art, artistic activism, political cartooning, street art, and other interventionist art + design practices as a catalyst for creative growth and social justice.

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number:

  • Credit: AIC 311
  • Noncredit: SCN 087

Format: Online

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore*, junior, or senior status – or a 2022 high school graduate. 
*Rising sophomores are only eligible for the noncredit version of this course.

Credit: 3 credits or Noncredit


  • Credit: A-F
  • Noncredit: Pass/Fail


  • Credit: $2,985
  • Noncredit: $2,500

    Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – Online: Explore college life before stepping foot on campus! High school students can enroll in a college-level course, pursue their academic interests, and meet likeminded students in daily virtual events and activities.

“Syracuse University Summer College – Online was the best thing I could have done going into my senior year.”

— Macey S., Summer College – Online Student, 2021

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesSynchronous Class Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – Online6-Week Session: Tuesday, July 5 – Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022Tuesdays;
4-7 p.m.
3 Credits or NoncreditClosed
Class times subject to change.

Course Requirements

Technology Requirements

  • Laptop or desktop computer with a webcam and mouse
  • Reliable internet access
  • A space conducive to taking an online class (without distractions)

Textbook Requirements

Students should budget for required textbooks and/or supplies. A supply and textbook listing will be emailed to students before the start of the program.

Student Expectations

Students are expected to engage in class wholeheartedly, to maintain an open mind and welcome new ideas, and to be courageous in their exploration of self, relationships, and the world we live in.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students must attend the live synchronous sessions via video conference. Synchronous time TBD.

Potential readings, assignments, and projects will include an introduction to crucial narratives such as: Where I Come From, as the basis for any meaningful artistic intervention; the Civic Imagination, as the building blocks of shared meaning; the Development of Agents of Change, exploring how creative leadership capacity is developed; Composing Practices, for creating effective activist art that moves the needle toward greater equity and social responsibility; and Collective Creative Intelligence, and engaging in shared conversations about social justice and environmental conservation. Coursework will periodically include virtual workshops and constructive critiques to offer helpful feedback on developing and refining final projects.

Potential virtual field trip destinations are to be determined.

Possible synchronous guest lecturers and presenters may include University faculty and professionals from a variety of related fields of visual storytelling.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College virtual activities to meet and connect with other students across the world. Check out our Virtual Campus Experience page for more information!

Faculty Bio

Beatrice Carey

Beatrice Carey is a practicing artist and is currently pursueing a Phd in Education within the Urban Education specialization at Rowan University. Her current research and art practice focuses on the intersections of visual arts based research, student voice, activism, and access within minoritized populations in K-12 and higher education situated within various frameworks within Critical Theory and visual interpretation and meaning making in education. In PEER lab, she serves as the newly appointed lead in student voice training and support for participating schools within the district partnerships. Beatrice holds a MFA in Fine Art from Kingston University London, a BA in Art with a concentration in Africana Studies and minor in Education from Rowan University, and is active in her professional art practices being proficient in painting, printmaking, drawing techniques, and currently in conceptual fine art photography. She has over 18 years of arts experience as an artist and educator. Her work has been showcased in various international exhibitions abroad and carry an intertwining focus on heritage, access, and belonging.

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