High School Seminar

Each year since 1959, Colgate has given area high school students a taste of the college experience. Faculty and administrators teach four sessions, meeting for three classes each, during the academic year. 

The courses below are an example of what is typically offered. High School Seminar is currently paused due to COVID-19. Please email highschoolseminar@colgate.edu with any questions.

Course Descriptions

Heidi Riley, Assistant Director of Outdoor Education

Have you ever wanted to climb a wall like Spiderman? Take this course and learn how to tie knots, use ropes to belay (hold) other climbers and move up the wall using good technique. This class guarantees great fun and that you will be hungry for dinner!

*Limited enrollment- only sign up if you can reliably attend all three classes 

Tracia Banuelos, Haven Coordinator, and The Network student volunteer group

This 3-part course will bring in age appropriate media examples and activities to explore healthy relationships. Together, we will work to define healthy and unhealthy relationships, understand consent, and imagine what a culture of consent looks like. We will work to validate one another’s feelings and experiences, as well as establish practices and tools for healthy relationships.

Kenneth Wilson, Instructional Designer

In this 3 week session, we will learn about 3D printing and the 3 step process for creating 3D prints. During week 1, we’ll take a look at Tinkercad, an online 3D modeling software and FlashPrint, the slicing software for our FlashForge 3D printers. During week 2, we’ll spend the time designing and modeling an object of your choosing. Finally, during week 3, we’ll look at our initial 3D model, discuss them as a group, make adjustments, and finalize our model for 3D print. I will collect your 3D models, print them for you, and have them sent to your school.

Esther Rosbrook, Assistant Director of ALANA Cultural Center

All students are able to be part of their community and develop a sense of belonging and become better prepared for life in the community as young leaders. The seminar provides better opportunities for learning through the exploration of a) definition of 21st-century youth leadership b) definition of inclusion and inclusion Practices c) understanding unconscious biases d) dialogue of differences and e) empathy. Participants will be able to be involved in case studies, activities, and self-reflection.

Mike Loranty, Associate Professor of Geography

For centuries humans have created and used maps to explore our planet. Over the past few decades technology has radically altered the ways we generate and interact with maps. The aim of this course is to understand the nature of these changes, and what they mean for how we explore the world around us. We will use traditional map and compass navigation, along with GPS, drones, satellite data, and web-based tools to map and explore a variety of environments in order to understand how these new geographic tools are changing the way we see our world.

Michael Coyle, Professor of English

This seminar will explore poetry by some of America’s most important modernist poets, such as Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Wallace Stevens, or Mina Loy. Each of these poets struggles to come to terms with what it means to be human, and to give form to human experience. What makes this struggle “modernist” is twofold. First, pursuing their work in the wake of Darwin, Nietzsche, and Freud, these poets endeavor to find both meaning and truth but do so knowing these two things are not necessarily synonymous. Second, knowing that meaning and truth are not necessarily the same thing leads them to the conviction that experience can only be modeled in aesthetic terms. Students should leave this seminar with a clearer understanding of not just what these poems mean but also how they mean. You will also have begun thinking about why poetry matters—not just in the terms of the poets we read together but also on our own.

Colgate SAT Prep

The COVE offers a free SAT preparation course for students from central New York. High school students work in small groups with Colgate student “coaches,” meeting in classrooms on Colgate’s campus. 

Each class consists of practice for the reading, writing, and math sections of the SAT, along with college preparation activities. The course concludes in time for the May 6, 2023 administration of the SAT. 

Students receive

  • Tailored SAT instruction with an emphasis on completing practice questions and time management strategies
  • Preparation for the SAT’s optional essay
  • 2 full-length practice SAT tests and test results
  • A free copy of The College Board’s The Official SAT Study Guide college preparation and application advice

Registration for the spring 2023 session of Colgate SAT Prep is due December 4, 2022. Register here.