Course Overview

This summer, take part in a dynamic research partnership between Syracuse University and Yoga 4 Philly, a 501C-3 non-profit with the motto: “Yoga and meditation should accessible to everybody, period.” A young non-profit born in 2019, Yoga for Philly  has been offering yoga, mindfulness, and meditation services to children in city schools; elderly individuals; people experiencing or having experienced addiction and homelessness, sex-trafficking; expectant Black mothers; individuals with Parkinson’s Disease; and the Philadelphia population at large in all of their free yoga classes. 

For the past year, Yoga 4 Philly has been partnering with Syracuse University. The partnership began last summer with a group of Summer College students (just like you!) who interviewed the non-profit’s founder and several national yoga and meditation experts, gathered scholarly data, and designed an informal data-collection system that would help Yoga 4 Philly grow it’s Yoga 4 Kids initiative at their foundational site, Lewis Elkin Elementary School in Kensington, Philadelphia.

The Kensington neighborhood experiences high drug and alcohol addiction issues, housing and food insecurity, and effects of gun violence—some of the worst in the country. 100% of the children attending Elkin are considered economically disadvantaged, which as studies show, can have an impact on mental, emotional, and academic well-being. The children and teachers experience daily yoga and meditation classes with Yoga 4 Philly, which is teaching them coping skills, self-esteem building, and self-care. Summer College students had a direct impact on the growth of the Yoga 4 Kids program for these children last year, and we are excited to continue the work this summer with you!

Impacts of the 2023 Summer College research project:

  • Systematized data-gathering methods to assist fundraising efforts
  • Partnerships with organizations that have helped the non-profit to grow and network
  • Reliable leads for increasing Yoga 4 Philly’s marketing outreach
  • Stronger organization for the Yoga 4 Kids program at large
  • Community-building among students, administration, and classroom teachers at Elkin

Since the 2023 Summer College students stepped in to help Yoga 4 Philly, one year of data has been gathered at Elkin Elementary School. Programming has expanded from 11 to over 35 schools in the city! The organization is hiring.  And, Yoga 4 Philly has entered a second partnership with a data-specialist team at Syracuse University’s iSchool to streamline project management. All of these impacts are, in part, because of the amazing work of Summer College students!

As the founder of Yoga 4 Philly often says: “What you do matters.”

Now it’s your turn! We are excited to continue the effort with the 2024 Summer College cohort. It is important for a young scholar to understand the basics of research as they enter college; this course will empower you far beyond typical expectations. This summer, students will:

  • Learn professional communication skills
  • Learn the basics about research strategies, primary & secondary sources, using the SU Library, and using databases
  • Learn about qualitative and quantitative research
  • Learn the purposes and requirements behind scholarly and real-world research
  • Aggregate the 2023-24 data collected from Elkin school
  • Locate updates in scholarly research regarding yoga and Social-Emotional Learning
  • Learn how research impacts fundraising at Yoga 4 Philly
  • Meet regularly with the founder of Yoga 4 Philly, the administrative team, and the SU iSchool partners
  • Write recommendations for sustainable fundraising work
  • Make a difference for children and the community in Philadelphia!

This course is excellent for students who are interested in public policy, social work, psychology, education, health care work, data management, healing professions, administration and leadership, and business.  Students will engage research expectations in the social sciences, education, health and business, and all students—regardless of interest—will learn basic skills for academic research that will give them a huge advantage when starting college.

Students who are simply interested in helping others, community service, or improving their resume will find this course to have a sizable impact toward their future plans or personal profile. Join us!

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

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 131

Format: Online

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school junior or senior status – or a 2024 high school graduate. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail

Cost: $1,995

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.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesSynchronous Class Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – Online6-Week Session: Monday, July 8 – Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2024MW;
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Course Requirements

Technology Requirements

  • Laptop or desktop computer with a webcam
  • Reliable internet access
  • Phone (for calling constituents)
  • Access to apps: What’s App, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime
  • A space conducive to taking an online class (without distractions)

Typical Week

Tentative Schedule

Students must attend live synchronous online sessions for six weeks.

Typical Day: In this class, students will engage scholarly research, library tools, research planning methods, and metrics designs for primary research. Students will be meet our non-profit partners through virtual meetings, email, and video content; and they will be expected to consider this engagement a professional internship-like environment, working to deadlines, practicing business etiquette in their writing, and speaking with partners: all with the constant warm support and guidance of our Syracuse University instructor.

  • Aggregate the data collected from Elkin school.
  • Locate updates in scholarly research regarding yoga and Social-Emotional Learning
  • Assess grant funding opportunities currently in place and see how the research impacts these applications.
  • Write recommendations for sustainable fundraising work.

Faculty Bio

Emily Luther

Emily Luther has been teaching writing and English courses to diverse student populations for 20 years. She teaches courses in academic and professional writing, rhetoric, literature, and grammar, and she often works as a one-on-one writing support consultant for beginning and advanced writers. She has designed, implemented, and facilitated writing courses and workshops for students and colleagues at Syracuse University, Onondaga Community College, and Lemoyne College, and for local high schools in Syracuse, New York and Reno, Nevada. Emily facilitates workshops and professional development for educators at all levels in mindful digital teaching. She owns Mama Mouse Healing Arts, a business that offers yoga and holistic healing for children, families, and educators. Throughout her career, Emily has held a long-term commitment to developing educational opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds and economic status, including refugees, international students, part-time students, and first-generation college students. She is also a faculty visitor for Syracuse University Project Advance, a program that hosts SU classes on high school campuses nationwide. She holds a master’s degree in English and a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender studies from Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from SUNY Fredonia. In addition to her teaching career, Emily is a writer, artist, and mother.