Pre-college program allows students to 'test out' Emory

Emory Magazine | Aug. 11, 2016

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Pre-college particlpants in the 3D modeling lab. Emory Photo/Video.

Every summer, hundreds of rising high school juniors and seniors move into Dobbs Hall on Emory’s Atlanta campus.

Participants in the Pre-College Program, now in its ninth year, come from across the country and around the world to take credit and non-credit courses, get a preview of college life and gain an advantage in learning what colleges are looking for in an applicant.

For up to six weeks, high-school students take college classes taught by Emory faculty, eat in the dining halls, live together with current Emory students who serve as resident assistants, and experience campus life and the city while they learn how to best prepare to apply to colleges and choose the one that is right for them—whether that is Emory or not, says Sally Gouzoules, associate dean for international and summer programs.

“Students who have the opportunity to ‘test out’ Emory with the Pre-College Program have a dramatically increased likelihood of attending Emory if they are accepted,” says Sara Jackson Wade, associate director of summer school and Pre-College Programs.

This year, 375 participants in the program took classes including Biological Anthropology, examining the origins of humanity; A Guide to Election 2016 with Associate Professor of political science Andra Gillespie; Law and Litigation with Emory Law instructor Aaron Kirk; Psychology and Fiction with Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology Marshall Duke; Forensics: Violence and Crime with Associate Professor of nursing Angela Amar; and Medical Images, Visualization, and 3D Modeling, among dozens of others.

Each afternoon the students attend “College 101” sessions designed to introduce them to the process of applying to colleges, how to write a great application essay, what to expect from the application process, how to select the right college, and what to expect once they arrive on a college campus.

“All of these students are on track academically to apply to Emory, but we always try to focus on areas that are broadly applicable to other colleges,” Gouzoules says.