High School Seminars

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

High School Seminar dates for Spring 2022 are:

  • Wednesday, March 23rd
  • Wednesday, March 30th
  • Wednesday, April 6th
  • Back-up Date: Wednesday, April 20th

Please email highschoolseminar@colgate.edu with any questions.

Current Course Descriptions

Joseph Eakin, Technical Director & Designer-Visualization Lab and Planetarium

We will dive into the world of immersive media. Students will learn techniques and how to use 360 video cameras to create virtual tours and immersive visuals. There may be some drone flying, 3D scanning, and more.

Cory Duclos, Director of the Keck Center for Language Study

In this seminar we will explore different ways to learn about the Spanish-speaking world through culture and literature. This course will be of interest to students interested in studying Spanish, but no previous language experience is necessary. The course will help students understand how a study of culture is a necessary part of learning a new language. We will also read together works of poetry, short stories, and portions of Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote.

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, and 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 in our own.

Kara Rusch, DJ/artist/music critic

Interested in the Blues? What kind of Blues? Rural Blues? Chicago Blues? Folk Blues? Electric Blues? You don’t need to choose. We’ll touch on the history of the Blues in this crash course but more importantly we’ll spend time listening to the best in various Blues genres.

Robin Bridson, Professional Development and Training Coordinator

Take raw data and make it useful! Learn to sort and filter data, summarize information, create tables, and charts. This is a very useful tool for students and gives them an edge both in school and the workforce. Students will use Excel, and will also discuss how they can use other programs, such as Tableau, R, and many more.

Michelle Passono, Assistant Director at Haven and The Network:(Julia Sicklick, Amelia Showers)

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.