Summer Programs  

Aquinas Summer Academy

Pre-College and Academic Enrichment Programs for High School Students and Professionals


A powerful summer academic experience can be a valuable addition to a college application, and an excellent preparation for college. Students participating in the Aquinas College Summer Academy may enroll in pre-college and academic enrichment courses of their choice. Please refer to the list of program offerings below for summer 2014.


Students are encouraged to register for summer programs as early as possible. The registration deadline for all summer programs has passed.

Aquinas Summer Academy programs are:

  • Designed and led by Aquinas faculty.
  • Non-residential programs offered during the week, with laboratory sessions in selected courses.
  • Held in facilities and labs located on the beautiful Aquinas campus, as well as the many resources that the city of Grand Rapids has to offer.
  • Non-credit bearing programs.

Pre-College Programs are specifically designed for and open to highly motivated high school students (especially rising juniors and seniors) who wish to explore what a college-level program is all about.

Academic Enrichment Programs are open to adult professionals from various fields and industries, as well as rising junior and senior high school students.


Aquinas Summer Academy Programs Offered in 2014

Pre-College Programs

Seminar: Essential Concepts & Careers in Health Sciences  
Dr. Thomas Bahl

Instructors: Dr. Jennifer Hess (Biology), Dr. Thomas Bahl (Biology), Dr. Jeffrey McKelvey (Biology)

Program Details: This seminar provides rising juniors and seniors with insights into the exciting college disciplines of biology and health sciences by introducing them to a spectrum of career choices in these fields, including laboratory and core research skills through interactive hands-on learning activities. Students will explore the prerequisite courses, exams that must be taken, and the types of extracurricular experiences they should seek in order to put together a strong application for medical, dental or veterinary school. Preparation for allied health careers (i.e., physician's assistant, physical therapist, public health official), not requiring graduate-level training will be reviewed (i.e., laboratory technician, technical sales/service representative, and elementary or graduate training

(M.S. or Ph.D. in biology and health sciences), and careers secondary biology teacher). In addition to discussions about how to prepare for specific science-related careers, participants will be introduced to college-level expectations through various hands-on exercises and lectures followed by a mock exam to assess comprehension and study skills.


Cost: $150
The fee covers all instruction, materials, supplies, lunch (full-day programs only), and a T-shirt.

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Seminar: Adventurous Accounting & Exciting Economics  
Dr. Stephen Barrows

InstructorsDr. Stephen Barrows (Economics), Dr. Todd Yarbrough (Economics), Prof. Anthony Burdick (Accounting), Prof. Kevin Cantley (Accounting)

Program Details: This enriching seminar is designed to give rising high school juniors and seniors a fun and exciting introduction to college-level economics and accounting! The program introduces students to career opportunities in accounting and economics through a carefully tailored curriculum that allows
them to explore various facets of these disciplines. In economics, this includes fundamentals of economic thinking and investing; common economic fallacies; economics and the environment, and the advantages of "game theory." In accounting students explore myths about accounting; financial, managerial and tax accounting; and accounting careers.

Cost: $150

The fee covers all instruction, materials, supplies, lunch (full-day programs only), and a T-shirt.
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Seminar: War and Peace in the 20th Century  
Dr. Roger Durham

Instructors: Dr. Bethany Kilcrease (History), Dr. Elizabeth Jensen (Chemistry),
Dr. Roger Durham (Political Science and International Studies)

Program Details: This seminar will introduce students to the topic of War and Peace in the 20th Century by presenting materials from a cross-disciplinary perspective, including History, Chemistry, International Relations, and Peace Studies. It will include discussions of the Great War (World War I) and its cause and consequences, as well as applications of international relations concepts (especially Just War Theory) and current case studies of Libya and Syria.

Cost: $150
The fee covers all instruction, materials, supplies, lunch (full-day programs only), and a T-shirt.
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Workshop: Writing for College  
Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil

InstructorsDr. Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil (English) and Ms. Julie Bevins (Writing Center)


Program Details: Exploring the ways that we write as we prepare for college, this mini- workshop gives high school students the experience of writing in a non- competitive, non-judgmental environment that values the risks and adventure of the writing process. After helping participants think about various types of academic writing, presenters will explore writing specific to the college application process, including admission and scholarship essays, and will help participants generate ideas and start writing. Writing Center peer consultants will be available after the workshop to provide additional assistance (one individualized, 30-minute session is provided free of charge to all participants; additional sessions are available free of charge to students seeking help with college entrance materials for Aquinas College).

Cost: $75
The fee covers all instruction, materials, supplies, snacks, and a T-shirt.
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Workshop: Observational Drawing  
Aquinas Summer Academy

InstructorProf. Chris LaPorte

Program Details: "Draw what you see!"
Drawing what you see is an important tool for beginning artists to master and experienced artists to practice. The ability to see three-dimensional objects, and translate them into two-dimensional drawings takes practice, patience and good technique. This workshop places an emphasis on observational drawing, familiarization with materials, and methods for developing line, shape, perspective, value, form, and light. Students will work through a series of exercises based on observational skills of composition and formal elements to add increasingly abstract elements to individual drawings. They will also learn how to look at objects in a new way so they may create pencil sketches, contour drawings, and simple perspective renderings while working with various objects and media.

The workshop is designed for all skill levels, including beginning students and those who have previously taken observational drawing classes.

Cost: $150
The fee covers all instruction, materials, supplies, lunch (full-day programs only), and a T-shirt.
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Academic Enrichment Programs
Workshop: Public Speaking & Presentation Skills  
Aquinas Summer Academy

InstructorDr. Dave Weinandy (Communication)

>Read more about Dr. Weinandy (pdf)


Program Details: "I Can't Wait to Make My Next Presentation!"
Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Workshop for Professionals. You’ve spent days determining what it is you need to tell people. Now, let’s spend a few days making sure others want to listen to your message. In this non-threatening, interactive workshop, you will increase your public speaking effectiveness. We will cover such areas as: physical and vocal delivery, introductions and conclusions, reducing anxiety, credibility, visual aids, and choosing powerful words. Participants will have the opportunity to present in a safe, non-threatening learning environment. Our goal is to make you a more motivated and motivating speaker!

Cost: $400
The fee covers all instruction, materials, supplies, and snacks.
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, June 10, 2014