African American History | High School Students: The Congressional Academy



Explore the African American narrative in historical events from a local and national perspective.  Discover how slavery permeated African American history through education, disenfranchisement, and segregation.  Relate radical reconstruction of the 19th century to the political, cultural, and social activism of the 21st century.


  • Earn 3 college history credits at NO COST to student
  • Exposure to African American historical paths, and to see oneself in the history
  • Engage with state and national experts on topics related to African American history
  • Participate in PBE learning in Milwaukee, WI and St. Louis, MO for FREE

Only 100 current sophomores and juniors can participate each summer.


Face-to-Face Instruction

July 11 - August 2, 2022 
9 AM-4 PM


On-Campus Days

Monday, July 11 - Friday, July 15, 2022
Tuesday, July 18 - Friday, July 22, 2022
Monday, July 25, 2022
Monday, August 1 - Tuesday, August 2, 2022


Milwaukee Day Trip

Monday, July 18, 2022

St. Louis Overnight Trip 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 (Travel day to St. Louis, MO)
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Friday, July 29, 2022 (Return travel day to UW-Parkside)



Student must be a current high school sophomore (10th grade) or junior (11the grade) during the 2021-2022 academic year. 

Student must have passing grades in Freshman and Sophomore Social Studies courses

Student must complete all requirements of the application process to be considered for admission into the program

Returning students from Summer 2021

Must meet the grade level requirement AND must have successfully completed the program in Summer 2021 with a course GPA of 2.0 or higher



Only 100 current sophomores and juniors are eligible to participate each summer. In the event that the program receives more applications than available spots a wait list will be formed.

Admission to the Congressional Academy will be conducted in two phases. 

Phase One Applications
  • Open to all eligible KUSD and RUSD students meeting the eligibility requirements.
  • Returning students from the summer 2021 program must submit applications by the Phase One deadline to be considered for priority admission.
  • Deadlines are firm - We cannot make exceptions to deadlines due to the popularity of our program.
Applications open:     COMPLETE
Applications close:     COMPLETE
Admission decision on or before:     COMPLETE
Phase Two Applications
  • Open to all applicants meeting the eligibility requirements.
  • Phase Two applications will be accepted, and admission decisions will be made on a first-come-first-serve basis. 
  • Deadlines are firm - We cannot make exceptions to dealines due to the popularity of our program.
Applications open:     COMPLETE
Applications close:     COMPLETE
Admission decision on or before:    COMPLETE 



  • Complete the online Congressional Academy Student Application
  • Have your parent/guardian complete the online Parent/Guardian Consent Form
  • Ask your social studies teacher to complete the online Teacher Recommendation Form
  • Have your school counselor/designee send your transcript by email to:

Email  | 

Applications for admission to the program will not be reviewed until all requirements are submitted.

The following criteria and point system will be used to evaluate applicants in each application phase.   

Criteria for the Selection of Students Points (Max 100)
Student is a returning participant from summer 2021 and successfully completed the program with a course GPA of 2.0 or higher, and meets the grade level requirement 100

Student attends a high-minority school (30% or more students of color) or a school with 60% or more students living in poverty


Student is from target districts of KUSD or RUSD

Passing grades in Freshman and Sophomore Social Studies courses 20
Student is recommended by teacher or school principal 15




In the opening week, we will identify the importance of alternate interpretations of history through lecture and group discussion and how those interpretations can change according to group perspectives. Topics will include: African American status throughout history; the role of modern education in African American knowledge and identity; the cultural impact of conflict over African American citizenship; and how educational practices have alienated the African American from modern civic participation.

Through lecture, group work, and guest speakers we will discover African American identity through challenges from the past and present. Through Group work, we will recognize the challenges and importance of unity and develop approaches for increasing civic engagement that overcome African American historical experiences of assimilation and acculturation. We will explore the role of systemic racism in the political process, as African Americans move to establish their own political agenda in the 20th and 21st century. We conclude on a high note looking at the contribution to democracy through jazz.

On Friday, we embark on the first PBE learning trip to Milwaukee, WI visiting a museum and other historical sites.

We prepare for and participate in the second PBE learning trip to St. Louis, MO, where we will visit museums, national historic parks, and other historical sites.

The program culminates with the Congressional Academy Showcase. You will present your poster, that you and your group have develpoed, demonstrating integration of your learning over the three weeks.


Lorene Bakkila | 262-595-2334 |

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