The College Preparatory Program
Level: Open to students entering grades 11 or 12 or freshman year of college in fall 2014.
Session: I, June 23-July 11, 2014; II, July 15-August 1, 2014
Days & Time: Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM and 2:00-4:00 PM
Instructor(s): Nicholas Boggs, Irvin Hunt, Rose-Ellen Lessy, Steen Sehnert, Debbie Yuster, Barbara Morris, Andrew Porwancher, Rachel Abramowitz, Anne Summers,
“It was very challenging but it really helped to develop my thinking ability.” - Begum Tuncer, 2013
“The class was very interactive, interesting, and fun.” - Sara Elabridi, 2013
An intensive review in four major skill areas for students who wish to strengthen their preparation for college-level work. Each skill module meets two or three mornings or afternoons per week. Students enrolled in this curricular option are required to take all four modules.
Rachel Abramowitz, Irvin Hunt, Rose-Ellen Lessy, Barbara Morris, Steen Sehnert
Students reinforce skills in grammar and punctuation as they learn to narrow a general subject into a usable, focused thesis and to write a coherent and informed essay. Through reading, debate, and writing, students develop writing strategies for different types of assignments such as examinations, reports, and term papers. Through careful readings of a variety of short articles and excerpts, students develop an appreciation for the writing skills essential in an academic setting.
New Approaches To Mathematics
Steen Sehnert, Debbie Yuster
In New Approaches To Mathematics, students practice mathematics as an experimental, discovery-based science, solving open-ended problems through experimentation and creativity. They later revisit their hypotheses and prove them using novel proof techniques. In the second half of the course, students sample various branches of pure and applied mathematics, with topics selected from fields including cryptography, probability, number theory, and geometry. This course develops students' creativity, independent thinking, logical reasoning, and ability to rigorously support their ideas. Instead of using the standard lecture approach, this module uses in-class group exercises in which students support and complement each other through the entire problem solving process, from understanding the problem to presenting the group's solution to the class.
Reading and Critical Thinking
Nicholas Boggs, Irvin Hunt, Rose-Ellen Lessy, Barbara Morris
Students develop an understanding of how language and form work in what they read and see in order to develop methods for identifying and critically evaluating conveyed messages. A variety of literary and visual media is considered, including fiction, poetry, drama, newspaper and magazine articles, movies, and television programs.
Study Skills and Research Techniques
Andrew Porwancher, Steen Sehnert, Anne Summers
Students practice the skills required to complete college assignments productively and to do research in a university library. Extensively considered are time management, note-taking, outlining, examination preparation, and effective class participation. Students are trained to use the full resources of a library, including traditional research tools as well as computerized catalogs, abstracts, indexes, and bibliographic databases.
Nicholas Boggs holds a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D from Columbia University. He currently teaches in the Liberal Studies Master of Arts Program at Columbia University, where he also serves as Faculty Advisor for students concentrating in American Studies. His writing has appeared in the anthology James Baldwin Now (NYU Press), Callaloo, Mary: A Literary Quarterly, and Chelsea Station. The recipient of an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Humanities at Wesleyan University, two scholarships to attend the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, as well as residencies at the artist colonies Yaddo and MacDowell, he is currently writing a book about James Baldwin’s collaboration with the French painter, Yoran Cazac.
After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse College, Irvin Hunt went on to receive an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in English and American literature. Awarded the Ford Fellowship for Graduate Study, he then enrolled as a Ph.D. student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he has received two M.A.s. Hunt's department also awarded him the John W. Kluge Fellowship for a New Generation of Faculty Excellence. In 2005, he released a book of letters titled Family. He has published articles in the Maroon Tiger and Independent School. In 2010, he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show as an Oprah Scholar. Currently, Hunt is writing a dissertation on the politics of humor during the Civil Rights Movement.
Rose Ellen Lessy holds an A.B. from Brown University in comparative literature and an M.A. from Cornell University, where she is currently completing her Ph.D. in English and American literature. She has served as an instructor for several years in the John S. Knight writing program at Cornell. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship between American literary realism and medical science in the early twentieth century.
Steen Sehnert majored in psychology and philosophy at Colby College and holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University. He studies the effect of engagement with material on learning and comprehension, investigating the best ways to engage students in the classroom and at home. Most recently he has been trying to understand where value comes from and how people can affect their own experience of value in the way they engage with a stimulus.
Debbie Yuster received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Columbia in 2007. She is currently an assistant professor of mathematics at SUNY Maritime. Prior to this, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) at Rutgers University. Her research interests include combinatorics, computational geometry, and algebraic aspects of topological dynamics. Dr. Yuster has taught undergraduate courses at Columbia and other universities, and has worked with New York City math teachers and their students in order to promote interest in math, as part of the National Science Foundation's GK-12 program.
Barbara Morris is a University of Chicago Ph.D. and the co-founder of a pioneering program in graduate research and writing at Parsons the New School for Design in the division of Art, Media and Technology. She has worked as a professor of film and literature at UCLA, Rutgers University, and Fordham University. Dr. Morris has received research fellowships from the Fulbright Committee, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the governments of Spain, the United States, and Argentina for her work in cinema studies.
Andrew Porwancher is a historian who received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, his M.A. from Brown University, and his B.A. from Northwestern University. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in academic journals such as History of Education, Journalism History, and Journal of Supreme Court History. He is currently working on a book about a Gilded Age murder trial. During the academic year, he teaches at the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage at the University of Oklahoma.
Rachel Abramowitz holds a B.A. from Barnard College and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa; she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English language and literature at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Her essays, reviews, and poems have appeared in The Colorado Review, The Kenyon Review Online, The Oxonian Review, jubilat, POOL, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere. She teaches English literature at Barnard College, where she is an adjunct professor.
Anne Summers holds a B.A from Barnard College and is currently pursuing a Ph.D in English at Stony Brook University. She is a recipient of a Graduate Council Fellowship at Stony Brook and is specializing in Victorian literature with an additional graduate certificate in women’s and gender studies. Her research interests include visual culture and female authorship, labor, and education in the Victorian period. She has worked as a high school and middle school tutor, an SAT prep instructor, and a reading teacher.
Specific course information, such as hours and instructors, are subject to change at the discretion of the University.