News Release: Admission and Financial Aid, Student Life

Jul. 1,  2009

Prospective Students See What College Is All About With New Program

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Students setting their sights beyond high school are getting an early glimpse of what college is all about. Emory College has launched its Pre-College Program, giving such students a slice of the college experience both in and out of the classroom.

“There are all kinds of things a student can get out of a pre-college program,” says Philip Wainwright, Pre-College director and associate dean for international and summer programs. “It’s a way to learn about academic life, to locate areas of interest, to meet peers.”

It can also be a way to start compiling college credit. Participants take for-credit courses lasting six weeks which are, as Wainwright notes, “precisely the same courses Emory students are taking, taught by precisely the same professors.” The program also offers two-week, not-for-credit courses, again taught by Emory faculty.

“I think this is one of the particular strengths of this program,” Wainwright says. “Students can take professors like Marshall Duke on the psychology of the novel, Bill Gruber teaching non-fiction creative writing, courses in nano-technology, photography — a whole spectrum of topics, either for credit or not.”

They are getting a head start on college in other ways as well, says Wainwright. “The College and Campus Life are working closely together to integrate academic and co-curricular programming.” The latter includes brown-bag lunches, visiting speakers, tours of local universities, and workshops in such areas as financial aid, admissions and study strategies.

While summer is a busy time for the high-schoolers, “it’s also a fun program,” says Wainwright. “There are students here from all over the country, and outside the country, looking to get insight into the kinds of coursework they’re going to take, the kinds of opportunities available on campuses such as Emory’s.”

Professor of English Sheila Cavanagh, who teaches “What Fools These Mortals Be: Shakespeare & Performance,” notes a difference between this Pre-College course and a typical high school Shakespeare class. “We have some amazing resources here,” she points out, such as “performance tapes, plus actual performances, whether at Georgia Shakespeare Festival or Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern, that would just not be available outside a college setting.”

The professors appear to be as enthusiastic about the new Pre-College offerings as the students. Keith Easterling teaches “Neurology, Drugs & the Media” along with Kristen Frenzel, a colleague in the Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology program. Frenzel explores neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and spinal cord injuries, while Easterling combines “explanations of how a drug acts in the brain with how that corresponds to behavior out in the real world.”

In one segment, he screens film clips depicting drug use and asks students to apply their lessons by identifying which drugs the characters are on. “These students will be the first class to experience this particular approach,” says Easterling.

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