Pre-College Summer Academy










This summer, Villanova University is offering an exciting new 100% online program for high school students who may have had summer plans change in light of COVID-19. The Pre-College Summer Academy is an innovative, engaging pre-college academic experience. The courses, designed and taught by Villanova faculty, are specifically relevant to rising 10th, 11th and 12th grade high school students who will be applying to college in the next couple of years. Each course also benefits from a current Villanova Student Fellow, who helps lead academic and community-building activities. Upon completion of the course(s), students will earn a certificate.


Offered in two-week sessions, each fully online course will allow students to:

  • Experience the prestige, tradition, and strong community of Villanova
  • Explore future academic and career pathways through college-level coursework 
  • Build a students’ resume with a unique collegiate experience
  • Develop relationships with current Villanova students, faculty, and staff 
  • Engage in professional and personal development opportunities through interactive workshops delivered by individuals from across Villanova, including the Career Center, Service Learning and Undergraduate Admissions.




  • The tuition for the Pre-College Summer Academy for summer 2020 is $1,200 per course
  • Payment in full is due at time of enrollment



Students are permitted to enroll in one course per two-week session, and may enroll in both sessions.


July 6–July 17

Apply by June 25!


July 20–July 31

Apply by July 13!


In this course, students will read and discuss the work of sociologists, philosophers, writers, theologians, and historians—both ancient and new. These thinkers write about the meaning of work, and our relationship to wealth. They ask such questions as: why do certain friendships endure while others dissipate? what does it mean to choose friendship wisely? and how do we let go of certain friendships? They think about what kinds of activities constitute true leisure. This course will be run like a college seminar, where the success of the seminar rests on the shoulders of each participant. Students will be expected to complete and comment upon short readings.


Anna Bonta Moreland, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Theology

Anna Bonta Moreland is an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities at Villanova University.  Her areas of research include faith and reason, medieval theology with an emphasis on Thomas Aquinas, the theology of religious pluralism, and comparative theology, especially between Christianity and Islam.  She has written Known by Nature: Thomas Aquinas on Natural Knowledge of God (Herder & Herder, 2010), and edited New Voices in Catholic Theology (Herder & Herder, 2012), and has just published Muhammad Reconsidered: A Christian Perspective on Islamic Prophecy (Notre Dame Press, 2020).  Dr. Moreland completed this work as the Myser Fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture during AY 2016-2018.  Her current book projects include a co-written manuscript with Dr. Thomas Smith, The College Guide to Adulting: How to Major in Life, and a manuscript on method in comparative theology.

Being an effective leader requires more than having good ideas. You need to be able to motivate others, create a vision, communicate that vision, and then implement it. Learning these skills as a high school student will not only prepare you for college and employment, but will provide you with the skills to contribute to your high school and greater community. In this course, you’ll read stories about leaders to gain insight about their journeys, and then you’ll learn important lessons about leadership direct from management research to prepare you for your own leadership journey. You’ll learn how to write a short proposal to implement an idea in your community, and you’ll gain a real sense of how important it is to develop a mission in your work as you create, communicate, and then work to implement your idea to improve your community.

This course will provide a unique opportunity to develop skills and knowledge from leadership and management studies as well as English, including both analysis of literature and professional writing and editing.


Karen Graziano, JD, MA

Adjunct Faculty

Professor Karen Graziano is a graduate of the American University Washington College of Law with a Juris Doctor degree, New England College with a Masters in Professional Writing, and Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communication. She has taught for the English Department since 2001 in a variety of courses including Law & Modern Literature, Legal Writing, Leaders & Managers in Literature, Advanced Business Writing, Technical Editing, and English Majors as Leaders. Since 2015, she has taught MBA students in Team Leadership & Group Dynamics for the Management Department in Villanova’s School of Business, and she currently teaches Ethical Business Practices. In addition to teaching, Professor Graziano contributed to Villanova’s community by founding the Law School Advising Program, Leadership & Professional Development Program, student leadership BRIDGE Society, and 1-credit series of Professional Development courses for Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and serving as the Internship Director and a Faculty Advisor. She previously served as the President of the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisors (NAPLA), and she currently serves on the Communications Committee of the Pennsylvania Association of College Admission Counseling (PACAC) where she contributes to the “Everyday Professional Excellence” column for The Pacer. Her teaching and professional development work focuses on helping students identify their unique talents and potential and then craft their personal and professional journeys.


This seminar will examine American culture through the lens of its national pastime - baseball. We will explore the politics of race, citizenship, gender, labor, public and private space, popular culture and advertising, among others, as we ask what baseball represents, what it should represent, and how baseball and the ideals of the American dream correlate. How do they fall short? What does baseball reveal about our national identity? Our values? Our ethics? Through literature, film, and essays, we will examine baseball as an agent of socialization, a source of economics, a construction of masculinity, a powerful generational connection, and as a transmitter of rhetoric and culture. In critiquing its failings and celebrating its efficacy, we will investigate how baseball continues to be an important component of American society.


Jennifer A. Joyce, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Center for Irish Studies
Associate Teaching Professor, Augustine & Culture Seminar Program
Assistant Professor, Department of English

Dr. Jennifer A. Joyce serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Irish Studies and as an Associate Teaching Professor in the Augustine and Culture Seminar Program and English Department at Villanova University. She received her B.A. and M.A. in English at Villanova, and her Ph.D. in English at the University of Rhode Island in 2010. Classes on Contemporary Irish Literature – Narratives of Belonging and Narratives of Northern Ireland, “Baseball, Justice, & the American Dream,” and “Homeless Chic? U.S. Poverty & Privilege” are among the more popular courses she teaches, several of which are grounded in Social Justice, Gender & Women’s Studies, and Honors. She also specializes in working with first year students and created and facilitates an 8-week Learning Community Study Abroad Summer Internship program in Dublin specifically for them. In 2009, Dr. Joyce founded and still advises the Villanova student chapter of Back on My Feet, a national non-profit organization that empowers people out of homelessness through running. She won the prestigious Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2020, and in 2013, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award at Villanova.

Climate change: What is it? Why does it matter? And what does this mean to your health and the health of your family? This course will examine climate science and how to discern reliable sources of information to make good choices for our health. We will also look at how our changing climate effects our health across the lifespan and how to reduce health impacts.  Current events will be examined in their relationship to climate change. Finally, we will consider strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate health risks. 



Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Associate Professor and Director, Center for Global and Public Health





  • This program is open to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors

Technology Requirements

Students will need access to the following in order to participate:

  • Computer
  • Internet 
  • Webcam and microphone

Application Requirements

  • Unofficial high school transcript 
  • Letter of permission from parent
  • Application deadlines:  
    • Session 1 - June 25
    • Session 2 - July 13

Schedule: 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM (EST)

10:30 – 11:00 am

Wake Up and Get Energized with your VU Student Fellow

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Virtual, live class time with professor, students and VU Student Fellow

12:30 – 1:30 pm

Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:30 pm

Academic Activities: Additional class time; group project work; individual activities and assignments; discussion session led by VU Student Fellow

2:30 – 3:30 pm

General information sessions on helpful topics from offices across the University

3:30 – 4:00 pm


4:00 – 5:00 pm

Fun with your VU Student Fellow

Grading is as outlined in the Professional Education Catalog.

Participants in this program are expected to abide by all University policies (found in The Student Handbook). Any violation of University policy will likely result in immediate dismissal from the program without refund.

For withdrawal and refund information, please visit our Tuition & Fees page



Enhance your resume.

Summer Academy courses provide new skills to add to your resume or college application, while exploring future academic pathways.


Expand your network.

Communicating and building relationships with classmates and faculty scholars can open new doors for your future.


Learn from distinguished faculty.

All programs are taught by experienced Villanova faculty who are dedicated teacher-scholars and among the most distinguished in their fields.