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 II 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.

Beth Parks, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Solar photovoltaics offer the hope that we can obtain electricity from a clean and sustainable source.  In this seminar, students will start by building a solar charger for their cell phones. (You’ll be able to take this home and use it!)  Building the charger will introduce practical skills like soldering connectors and reading a wiring diagram.  Then we’ll move on to see how solar photovoltaics can be implemented on a larger scale.  How big a solar array would power your whole home?  The whole country?  You’ll learn some fundamentals about our energy use and discover whether solar photovoltaics have the potential to power our future energy needs.

Tracia Banuelos, Program Coordinator for Haven

 Cartoons do more than entertain us after school - some of them are doing intentional work to help younger audiences understand and explore their mental health. In this course, students will watch snippets of Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe and Adventure Time, explore both healthy and unhealthy representations of mental health, and create a “Mental Health Action Plan” based on the messages in the cartoon, to support them in their own exploration and validation of their mental health journeys.

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.

Sarah Kunze, Instructional Designer

Have you always wanted to learn how to create a digital video? Now’s your chance. The Intro session will teach participants how to combine video clips, photographs, text and transitions to create a short movie using Final Cut Pro. You will learn how to adjust audio, add titles, layer music or sound effects to make a more impactful video. Bring your creativity and we’ll supply the media files and instruction. The second class will include analysis and effects to further enhance your storytelling skills. Retiming of video, use of green screen footage, audio and video special effects, etc. will be covered. You will also begin a video of your own, working with your own images and clips to tell your own story. The third class will be a guided lab where you will continue working on your own video project.


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