Pre-College Study Comes to Wes: Rock, Enroll

Today Wesleyan students received an email from President Roth and Vice President Rosenthal announcing the roll-out of a pilot project that will offer online courses (not for credit) to “high-achieving high school students.”

The first suite of online seminars will be offered this summer. The courses vary from environmental studies to music, two of Wesleyan’s self-proclaimed “areas of strength.” So if you have a little sibling who is jealous of your History of Rock and R&B class, can commit to eight weeks of summer school, and has $1,400 to spare, tell hir to check out the Wesleyan Pre-College Study webpage.

Read on for the full email from Rosenthal and Roth (Michael Rothenthal??).

Dear Members of the Wesleyan Community,

We are writing today to announce new opportunities for pre-college study at Wesleyan.

In summer 2013, Continuing Studies will launch a pilot project offering non-credit online courses intended for high-achieving high school students. Courses will be offered in some of Wesleyan’s areas of strength and in areas that are in high demand but difficult for many high school students to find – such as psychology, creative writing, environmental studies, and music. These fully online courses, characterized by small class size and personal interaction between faculty and students, will recreate some of the seminar feeling that is a hallmark of Wesleyan.

The four initial courses are:

History of Rock and R&B, Eric Charry, professor of music
Environmental Studies, Helen Poulos, postdoctoral teaching fellow, environmental studies
Topics in Psychology, Noel Garrett, visiting lecturer in graduate liberal studies
Flash Fiction, Martine Bellen, author and visiting lecturer in graduate liberal studies

Course descriptions, tuition, and additional information are online at This website also includes information about on-campus Summer Session courses, which will now be available to high school students in 2013 with the addition of a second session in July.

If you have questions about this new program, please call Wesleyan’s Continuing Studies office at 860-685-2005 or send an e-mail to


Michael S. Roth

Rob Rosenthal
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

[Note: What follows is solely the opinion of my mom, and does not reflect the views of Wesleying’s mom or any other moms.]

Designed to give ambitious high-schoolers a taste of the small-liberal-arts-college feeling that Wesleyan embodies, the pre-college study initiative seems to be another move by the administration to increase both the access to and the visibility of the university. Unlike Coursera, though, pre-college study is not free. Here’s what my mom, an education consultant, had to say:

There is also a very practical purpose for this outreach to pre-college students. Wesleyan and its peer schools have to rely more heavily on students who can pay full freight and as the competition for these students intensifies, those who can nab them early—providing them with the feeling of Wes, as Roth describes it—will come out ahead.

What say you to this program? Your reactions and comments are welcome below.

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