Author: Shannon Rooney


Pre-College ice skatingLauren Oligino, far left, with fellow Pre-College students on Skate Night at Compton Ice Arena

"Being a student at Notre Dame is not something that can be explained," says Lauren Oligino. Last summer, Oligino, a high school junior from Westfield, NJ, attended Summer Scholars at Notre Dame, a Pre-College Program offering more than 20 tracks of study to rising high school juniors and seniors.

Participants in this program live on campus for two weeks, learn under the guidance of Notre Dame professors, and earn one college credit. The experience includes service and community activities and students get a feel for what it's really like to be a Notre Dame student. 

"There is a sense of faith and community that cannot be captured in a brochure or on a website. It has to be experienced," says Oligino.

Notre Dame's four Pre-College Programs include Summer Scholars, Leadership Seminars, and study abroad programs in Ireland and Rome.

This year, a few new academic tracks have been added to Summer Scholars and Leadership Seminars. The new Summer Scholars course is Modern Art: From French Impressionism to American Pop, which focuses on exploration of art as well as examining the social, political, and historical contexts of art created during this time period.

Leadership Seminars, our flagship program, which fully funds students' program costs, seeks to address key global issues, including climate change, the rise of violent actions across the world, and the role of race in shaping society. The three new tracks for this year are The Environment: Science, Policy, Ethics; Global Issues: Violence and Peace in the Modern Age; and The State of Race in 21st Century America. Learn more.

Gracebradley DonhowardGrace Bradley with the professor who taught her track, Dr. Don Howard

"The Leadership Seminar program is a unique one among college preparatory summer courses for advanced high school students," says Dr. Paulette Curtis, faculty director of the Office of Pre-College Programs and the AnBryce Scholars Initiative, and concurrent instructor of anthropology. 

"In addition to delving deeply into topics that affect our world today, it is designed to inform and educate by placing students into conversation with others who will push their learning further, including outstanding faculty," says Curtis. "Students walk away with an amazing knowledge base, an introduction to the richness of the Notre Dame academic and social experience, and a broad pool of friendships with students from all over the country and the world."

Grace Bradley, a high school senior from Centerville, Ohio, participated in Leadership Seminars last year, studying in a track titled Science, Ethics, and Responsibility. "I had an amazing experience on campus," she says. "I enjoyed every bit of my 10 days at Notre Dame, from working on our final project, touring the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, to learning how the Notre Dame physics department accelerates protons and hydrogen ions. I had a spectacular time and made so many lifelong friends and memories!”

Learn More

Join us for a summer you’ll never forget. Our applications for Summer 2019 are open now. Apply to our Pre-College Programs.