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Skidmore College

Pre-College Online Courses


Pre-College students may apply to enroll in one online course from the approved liberal arts courses offered for summer 2022.

2022 Online Course Descriptions

All courses are Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Human Genetics (BI 170) - Canceled
Professor Bernard Possidente
M/T/W/TH/F 1:30 PM - 4:40 PM (EST)
4 Credits
Lab Fee $80

An introduction to the principles of genetics and their application to human biology. Topics include the history of genetics; the structure, function, and inheritance of genes; medical genetics; and genetic engineering.
Note(s): Summer: Nine hours of lecture, six hours of lab per week.

Writing Seminar II - Under the Influence: Argument and Persuasion In our Lives (EN 105)
Professor Thaddeus Niles
M/T/W/TH 9:30 AM - 11:50 AM (EST)
4 Credits

Argument seems inescapable. Its rituals have shaped the Western academic tradition, which is perhaps reason enough to study it more closely. But argument is also a central feature of our lives as citizens and consumers. In this writing course, students will consider the nature of persuasion, various methods of thinking critically, and approaches to translating these methods to academic texts. Class projects include essays examining the language and logic of persuasive appeals, as well as a final collaborative project.
Prerequisite: writing placement exam.

Earth Systems Science (GE 101) - Canceled
Professor Kyle Nichols
M/T/W/TH/F1:30 PM - 4:40 PM (EST)
4 Credits

An introduction to Earth’s dynamic systems and geologic processes. The planet is studied from its deep interior to its oceanic, surficial, and atmospheric components to develop a scientific understanding of Earth as a holistic environmental system, of which the biosphere, including humanity, is one component. Within this context, course topics such as rocks and minerals, mountain building, earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, surface and groundwater, and resources are examined from the perspective of the interactions between geologic processes and humans.

Introduction to Psychological Science (PS 101)
Professor Deana Vitrano
M/T/W/THTime 9:30 AM - 12:35 PM (EST)
4 Credits

An introduction to the science of psychology through a survey of theories, methods, and principles of behavior. Students will learn about empirical studies that are central to the various subdisciplines of psychology.

Sociological Perspectives (SO 101)
Professor Phil Lewis
M/T/W/TH1:30 PM - 3:50 PM (EST)
3 Credits

The basic concepts and principles of major sociological perspectives. Attention is given to how these perspectives have been developed and used by social scientists to explain social phenomena. Recommended as an introduction to the discipline.

*Courses subject to change. All course placements are subject to approval by the Pre-College Program director.


Bernard Possidente


Bernard P. Possidente
Professor of Biology, Ph.D. Genetics


Dr. Possidente's general research area is genetic analysis of behavioral mechanisms. His research focuses on the function of biological clocks in controlling circadian (daily-endogenous) rhythms using mice and fruitflies as model systems: manipulation of rhythms in mice and fruitflies with genetic, pharmacological, and photoperiod treatments in order to identify functional properties of circadian system components and their physiological mechanisms.
Thad Niles

Thad Niles
Lecturer and ESL Specialist
for the Writing Center

Professor Niles has been an ESL specialist at Skidmore since 2010, teaching composition and coordinating the college's first intensive English program. Thad’s professional interests include the learning experiences of international students, academic literacies/English for Academic Purposes, Structural-Functional Linguistics/Genre Pedagogy, and new teaching grammars.
Kyle Nichols

Kyle Nichols
Associate Professor, Geomorphology, Quaternary Geology, Hydrology

Kyle Nichols, a geomorphologist, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences.  Kyle’s research specialty is understanding the science of scenery (how landscapes evolve). His research has taken him to different parts of the globe ranging from the deserts of Africa (Namibia) to the tropical rainforests of Panama to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  In the United States, he worked in the Mojave Desert and the Grand Canyon.  His recent research interests incude how to live in the unofficial geologic epoch, the Anthropocene. At Skidmore, in addition to Earth System Science, Kyle has taught Geomorphology, Hydrology, Glacial Geology, and Are we in the Anthropocene? among other courses.
Deana Vitrano

Deana Vitrano
Visiting Assistant Professor, Psychology

Professor Vitrano is a cognitive psychologist who mainly researches learning and memory. She has a passion for teaching and often focuses her memory research on how to help students remember material better in the classroom. Outside of research and teaching, you can find Professor Vitrano doing a variety of arts and crafts, trying out random recipes, and spending lots of time with her puppy, River.   
Phil Lewis

Phil Lewis
Professor, Sociology

Phil Lewis has been teaching at Skidmore College since 2012. His areas of interest are the Sociology of Sports, Urban Social Problems, and Social Theory. Phil is originally from NYC.



TECHNOLOGY RECOMMENDATIONS: It is the expectation that students will have access to a computer or laptop (a cell phone will not suffice); reliable, high speed Internet/WiFi connection; a speaker and microphone, and a camera (either a webcam or built-in laptop camera); a quiet space conducive to taking an online class and completing coursework (private, without distractions). Unfortunately, we are not able to provide computers to students.