URI to offer college-credit summer classes to high school students, new freshmen for first time

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KINGSTON, R.I. – April 1, 2015 – For the first time, the University of Rhode Island will offer college-level summer classes to high school students and entering college freshmen who want to get a jump on their degrees.

“Rhode Island Ready: URI Summer Courses for High School Students” will offer eight general introductory courses in astronomy, health, business, communications, computational thinking, information literacy, academic and career planning, and theater.

John Olerio, program coordinator, says students will be able to earn college credit that will count toward their degrees at URI, or they can transfer the credits they earn to another university or college. The courses, all on the Kingston campus, will start July 13 and last three or five weeks, depending on the class.

High school juniors and seniors are eligible, as well as recent high school graduates. Students must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. The cost is $225 per credit for Rhode Island residents, and they can enroll in a maximum of four credits. Small additional fees might apply at registration, which opens April 8.

To register, visit uri.edu/summer/ready.

“For URI, this initiative could not be more timely,” says Olerio, “given Governor Gina Raimondo’s remarks about the need for Rhode Island students to accelerate college-degree completion.”

He says local high school students will get a head start on college credits at an affordable cost, while also enjoying the college experience.

“The goal of ‘Rhode Island Ready’ is to get Rhode Island high school students as prepared as possible for future success in higher education, whether that is ultimately at URI or elsewhere,” says Olerio. “Students will get a head start on discovering what it means to learn at a university while also experiencing life on a college campus.”

The courses are:

* Introductory Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies

Celestial sphere, constellations. Constitution of sun, stars, nebulae and galaxies. Planetarium used freely for lectures and demonstrations. Students will also visit the observatory at the W. Alton Jones Campus. General Education Category: Natural Sciences. 3 credits.

* Introduction To Business

Nature, philosophy, objectives, and scope of the American business system. Emphasis on the interrelations of the functional areas. 3 credits.

* Argumentation and Debate

Introduces argumentation theory through the model of academic debate. Stresses critical-thinking skills including analysis, research, organization, and written and oral presentations. Debates are conducted on important social and political issues. 3 credits.

* Foundations of Health

Development of attitudes and practices that lead to more healthful living. Personal and community health problems studied. General Education Category: Social Sciences, Diversity. 3 credits.

* Introduction To Information Literacy

In-depth exploration and practice of information literacy skills designed to support college-level research and lifelong learning. General Education Category: English Communication. 3 credits.

* Problem Solving and Computational Thinking

A seminar intended to develop mathematical and computational problem solving skills. Students work in small groups actively engaged in solving challenging puzzles or playing games with a mathematical theme. Topics include numbers, probability, logic, enumeration, algorithms, and graphs. General Education Category: Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning. 3 credits.

* Introduction To Theatre

Designed to provide students with a theoretical and practical understanding of the theatrical process as well as to develop critical standards and increase the enjoyment of theater as an art. General Education Category: Fine Arts and Literature. 3 credits.

* Academic and Career Decisions

Development of skills and knowledge necessary to make educational and career decisions; utilize self-assessment inventories to identify aptitudes, values, and interests as they relate to majors and careers. 1 credit.

For more information about the summer classes, call Olerio at 401-874-2540 or email him at jolerio@uri.edu.

URI will also offer a summer engineering program for high school students. The program is for high school students who want to explore engineering. Students can earn college credit and scholarships. For details, visit Summer Engineering Academy.

Pictured above: Students at the University of Rhode Island. Photo courtesy of URI.