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 university’s mission is to provide a demanding, expansive educational experience to a select group of diverse, talented, intellectually sophisticated students who are capable of challenging themselves, their peers, and their teachers in a setting that brings together living and learning.

The mission of the High School Seminar Program is use Colgate’s resources to benefit the region by introducing area high school students to college-level topics that are not available at their schools and to encourage college attendance by providing them with the opportunity to experience a taste of life on a college campus.

Daily schedule

Arrival: Buses unload students at Merrill House at approximately 3:45 p.m.

Classes begin: 4:00 p.m.

Dinner break: 5:00 to 5:45 p.m.

Classes resume: 5:50 until 6:30 p.m.

Departure: 6:30 p.m. Students board buses at campus safety office

Session Dates for 2019-20

*Make-up dates are used for school cancellations only

Session I: September 25th, October 2nd, October 9th
*make-up October 16th
Session II:  October 30th, November 6th, November 13th
*make-up November 20th
Session III: January 29th, February 5th, February 12th
*make-up February 26th
Session IV: March 25th, April 1st, April 15th
*make-up April 22nd


Session III Course Descriptions

Julia Blackwell '20

College Prep is an introduction to the college application process as well as to the collegiate academic setting. Our goal is to facilitate the transition from high school into higher education by helping students feel more comfortable in their applications and familiarizing them with different aspects of a university.

Kara D. Rusch, DJ/ artist/ music critic

Interested in Jazz but always felt you needed to “understand” it in order to appreciate it? Don’t be intimidated. A crash course in Jazz appreciation will be offered here. With toes tappin’ and heads bobbin’ we’ll chronologically explore Ragtime, Traditional Jazz, Swing, Bebop, Hard Bop and beyond. We’ll hear the sounds and learn some history of one of America’s greatest artistic contributions to the world: Jazz. We will also heavily focus on Jazz treatments of well-known Pop songs and talk about cover songs.

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.

Daniel Devries, Media Relations Director

Are you an aspiring journalist? Learn about how the media works in this fun and interactive class that will teach you how to write a compelling lede and news story. Learn about how the media determines the newsworthiness of a story, understand the basics of investigative journalism, AP Style, media ethics, and more.

Anna Talucci, Postdoctoral Fellow

Fire ecology examines the role of fire in ecosystems from how and why vegetation burns and the ecological response after fire as it relates to severity and vegetation adaptations. Fire is an important global disturbance process that is controlled by the biophysical environment (i.e., abiotic and biotic variables). In this course, we will learn about the abiotic and biotic controls on the combustion process by simulating lab-based wildland fire experiments - how does fire behave and why do things burn. We will then examine fire as a landscape process and determine how it varies in severity across ecosystem types. Finally, we will explore how humans influence wildfire through historical and current perspectives. 

Ryan Solomon, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric

Rhetoric and citizenship have an intrinsic relationship. It is through the language and symbols of citizenship (and, correspondingly, nationalism) that we come to understand ourselves as political subjects. The aim of this seminar will be to grapple with the fundamental paradox of citizenship – that citizenship implies both inclusion/equality and exclusion/borders. Citizenship, in its democratic form, presumes that everyone (at least formal citizens) has a place in a particular political body. But citizenship is necessarily bounded, which means displacing those who aren’t recognized as belonging. So, we will consider together the value of democratic citizenship and the possibility of imagining citizenship without borders through looking at examples of the struggle over immigration policy in the US and Europe. 

High School Seminar Coordinator
Lathrop Hall