Dates and Schedule

ASCEND will begin in early-July and conclude by mid-August. It will include both sychonous and asychronous elements; content videos and modules wll be available for consumption at a student’s own pace, but will be supplemented by pre-arranged, real-time discussions with coaches and other students via video conferencing platforms. ASCEND students can expect to devote between 5 and 10 hours a week to the program while it is underway, but should feel comfortable registering for the program while pursuing other responsibilities such as summer jobs, research, and athletic competitions. 

Sample Week

Every module in ASCEND will be different, depending on the content taught and your relationship with your small group and coaches, but you should expect to do the following over the course of each week:

  • Watch short, content-based videos created by Professor Jim Rolf
  • Complete short online quizzes/problem sets to assess your understanding of the videos
  • Communicate with your team and coach as a group
  • Discuss concepts with your peers
  • Communicate with your coach one-on-one (as needed)
  • Work on challenging problems involving math in physics, economics, biology, chemistry, etc. with your peers and coaches
  • Have informal chats with Duke STEM faculty 

Although some elements–such as the videos and quizzes–will be regular features and can be completed at your own individual pace, you and your teammates will be responsible for creating your own meeting schedule and team culture and can communicate whenever and as frequently as the group decides. 


Academic Year Support

The entire ASCEND community–participants, coaches, and affiliated faculty–will be invited to a Celebration Dinner in early September. 

Students who complete ASCEND will have access to special funding for individual STEM tutoring and be invited to events during the fall and spring semesters of their first year at Duke.