Pre-College Summer Academy













Villanova University's Pre-College Summer Academy is an innovative, engaging pre-college academic experience for high school students, 100% online. Designed and taught by Villanova faculty, this program is open to students age 13 and above - typically rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders who will be applying to college in the next couple of years. Each course has the benefit of 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-long 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.




Tuition Information

$1,200 per course

Payment in full is due at time of enrollment


Students may enroll in both sessions.


July 11 - 15, 2022

Become a Socially Responsible Leader: 
Increase Commitment and Motivation by Developing Your Values-Based Mission and Vision

Taught by Karen Graziano, JD, MA

Socially responsible leaders have well-defined values and a high level of integrity. Their work incorporates their personal values, integrity, and ethics and shapes how they contribute to the community in any field, including business, medicine, technology, law, or education. As a high school student, learn how to develop the skills and process to be a socially responsible leader, so you can have a greater impact on your community in high school, at your future college, and in the workplace. Developing the emotional intelligence to understand and articulate values and ethical concerns is an important first step in shaping a socially responsible leader’s mindset. Value-centered work increases an individual’s commitment to the work, making it more significant and meaningful. Connecting values and ethics to a mission and vision is the next step. This motivates leaders to advocate and inspires others to participate.

In this course, you will learn and articulate your key values, apply ethical approaches, and identity models of socially responsible leaders. You will analyze the needs in your immediate community, including your participation on teams, in classes, and in organizations, to identify opportunities to develop more fully as a socially responsible leader. You will develop a mission and vision that supports your values, and you will craft a compelling story as a leader. By contributing to the development of your classmates’ leadership missions, visions, and narratives, you will learn how to become an effective and helpful classmate and colleague by helping them grow and develop in their ideas. You’ll gain a real understanding of what it takes to be an effective leader today, how essential motivation is to leadership, and how you can impact others by developing your values-centered leadership goals.

This course will provide a unique opportunity to develop skills and knowledge from ethics, leadership, and management studies as well as English and communications, including both the analysis of personal essays and professional writing. The goal of the course is to identify and articulate your values into a mission and vision that you will apply in your community as a socially responsible leader.


Karen Graziano, J.D., M.A., is a leadership, writing, and communications professor, trainer, consultant, and coach. She specializes in teaching professionals how to maximize their own and their team’s potential by helping them understand strengths and motivation so they can develop a vision and action plan.


July 18 - 22, 2022

Your Workplace Journey:
Exploring Your Interests, Finding Your Fit, and Crafting Your Future Filled with Meaningful Work

Taught by Karen Graziano, JD, MA

How do your interests and strengths translate into the workplace? What steps can you take now to help you make decisions about academics, participation in organizations, internships, part-time jobs, and employment? And, above all, how can you ensure that your work is meaningful

Learn how to envision multiple paths for yourself as you work on assessments, conduct career research, understand workplace roles, gain more knowledge about academics, and research organizations’ missions and cultures. Gain a greater understanding of how advanced degrees factor into a workplace journey. Learn how students prepare for law school, graduate school, MBA, and medical school admissions. Craft a personal and professional vision that will inspire you to undertake the challenges to realize your personal and professional aspirations and develop an action plan to explore your interests. The Workplace Journey Action Plan will help you understand individuals’ workplace philosophies and motivations, prompting you to develop your own ideas about meaningful work. You’ll identify roles within your high school and the greater community where you can begin to explore your interests and deepen your understanding of the value of pursuing meaningful work, both for you and for your community. You’ll learn how to incorporate your vision into your college essays and how to realize your vision on a college campus. 

This course provides a unique opportunity to develop your knowledge about the workplace, motivation, career paths, college academics, and graduate degrees, and it combines skills and knowledge from ethics, leadership, management, English, and communication studies. 

The goal of this course is to create an action plan to research and explore potential professional paths that incorporate your personal strengths and interests and provide you with the opportunity to perform meaningful work. Students will share their research and visions, providing an opportunity for you to learn about multiple career paths and unique visions to achieving meaningful work. 


Karen Graziano, J.D., M.A., is a leadership, writing, and communications professor, trainer, consultant, and coach. She specializes in teaching professionals how to maximize their own and their team’s potential by helping them understand strengths and motivation so they can develop a vision and action plan.





  • 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 - July 5
    • Session 2 - July 12

Schedule: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (EST)

9:00 - 9:30 am

Wake Up and Get Energized with your VU Student Fellow

9:30 - 11:00 am

Academic Session #1 (Virtual, live class time with professor and VU Undergraduate Fellow)

11:00 - 11:30 am


11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Academic Session #2 (Virtual, live class time with professor and VU Undergraduate Fellow)

12:30 - 1:30 pm

Lunch Break

1:30 - 3:00 pm

Academic Session #3 (Led by VU Undergraduate Fellow; Group project work; individual activities and assignments; discussion session)

3:00 - 3:30 pm


3:30 - 4:30 pm

* "Villanova Views" Sessions 

Villanova Views

These sessions will introduce you to Villanova and to college life in general... all the while having fun and connnecting with your fellow students and current Villanova undergraduates! Offered Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Tuesday: Rob LeBlanc, First Year Experience & Humanities Librarian, Falvey Memorial Library

Wednesday: Kate Szumanski, Director of Professional Development, Office for Undergraduate Students, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Thursday: Office of Undergraduate Admission

Friday: Concluding Activity

* Joint sessions held with both classes together
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.