High School Programs

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. Our programs are aligned with UM’s Priorities for Action to place student success at the center of all we do. This commitment is not just to UM students but also to Montana high school students.

We partner with local schools, the University of Montana, community and international partners, and the U.S. Department of State to provide unique opportunities that empower young people as positive forces in our communities and engage them in developing cross-cultural understanding, leadership, and responsible citizenship.

Available Programs

Big Sky Leadership Forum. A monthly online course for Montana high school juniors to learn how our democracy works from the people who lead it. Meet politicians, elections officials, nonprofit leaders, and community organizers from all over Montana.

Youth Exchange Program. To bridge the urban-rural divide and strengthen our democracy, 12 Montana high school students will join 12 Chicago high school students for a 15-day adventure exploring Chicago, Montana, and Washington, DC.

Secondary Educator Fellowship. A one-week, all-expenses-paid fellowship for high school social studies teachers designed to explore the promise and perils of American democracy from historical and philosophical perspectives.

InnovateHS is a biannual conference designed to engage 250 high school juniors with innovations across multiple disciplines, from eSports to entrepreneurship.

International Opportunities. We understand the value of international experience to all ages, and we work with numerous partners to provide students with the opportunity to travel abroad, often on fully-funded leadership development programs.  We have also compiled a list of State Department programs that allow high school students to travel internationally.

Internships. We offer outstanding high school students the opportunity to work closely with our programs through unpaid internships.

Mansfield Seminar. A select group of high school students will attend monthly sessions hosted by UM faculty on issues in ethical public policy through the lens of leadership and international engagement.

High School Advisory Council. We coordinate with Hellgate High School to allow IB students to advise us on the best ways to engage high school students.

“We will find… among the young people of this nation, the resources of intelligence and integrity to define the evolving problems of our times. We will find, I profoundly believe, the courage, the conviction, and the concern to face them and to resolve them.”

-Mike Mansfield, May 1968