FDU launches Summer Pre-College Program for high school students


Above: Englewood Academies student Evan Lopez works on a robot as part of the Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class. (Photos by Sai Sankar)

September 12, 2017 — Fairleigh Dickinson University launched its first pre-college program for high school students this summer. In the innovative program, developed and managed by FDU’s Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies, 50 high school students enrolled. Students took courses ranging from artificial intelligence to animation and cybersecurity, and were awarded college credit for completing the courses.

The program ran from July 10 through August 3. The program is designed to offer high school students hands-on courses in cutting-edge professional technology and design fields, while giving them their first college campus experience. Cybersecurity instructor Michael Divito says “This program gave students the opportunity to see what courses were offered by the University and also receive first-hand experiences in classes that piqued their interest.”


Above: Cybersecurity instructor Michael Divito works with students on a group project

Students enrolled in the program also enjoyed the college experience. “I took away a very good understanding of robotics, though I went into the program with no prior experience,” says Ariana Alatis, a junior at Avenues: The World School in New York City. Student enthusiasm also seemed to inspire instructors like Rudy Agresta, an adjunct professor, who says, “I thoroughly enjoyed working with the students who were enrolled in my classes. They showed great interest and were quite engaged with the assignments I prepared for them.”

FDU plans to expand its pre-college course offerings next year to ensure even more students have a broad selection of courses to choose.

“This was a fun experience for the kids and a great program for Petrocelli College to create for the University. We look forward to building upon this success by creating an even better program for area high school students next summer,” says Lisa Braverman, dean of Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies.