Pre-College Courses and Activities

Please note: This list is not complete.  Course availability and eligibility will depend on the College Now program offering the course and student academic qualifications.


The best way to find a suitable course, deadlines for registration, and more is to ask your school’s College Now liaison or staff at your school’s partner college.

Discipline and Content Courses

Why Do People Do What They Do?
In this course, students learn about theories of motivation to analyze ‘why people do what they do’. What gets you up in the morning? What keeps you going through the day? When you work hard, why? When you play hard, what calls you to play? Students apply psychological concepts to narrative texts while practicing reading and writing techniques most frequently used in college and in CUNY entrance exams.


The Comic Spirit in Literature & Culture
What makes you laugh, and why? To help answer this question, students will explore humor in a variety of works from both “low” and “high” culture: theater, songs, a children’s book, short stories, cartoons, TV, and more. Through reading, class discussion, and extensive writing, students will develop the ability to look deeply at texts, to articulate their ideas, and to laugh, if not more heartily, at least more knowingly. The class prepares students for college courses in the English Language Arts. Its goal is to help students to become more sophisticated at interpreting a text and when they are writing about their own lives.


Deciphering the Genetic Code
DNA is the building block of all living organisms. This course introduces students to the field of molecular biology by focusing on DNA structure and gene function. Students use hands-on activities to investigate current applications of DNA technology and develop important skills such as reading comprehension, writing, critical thinking and analysis.


Film Studies
Movies can make us laugh, angry, sad or scared. How do they do that? This course takes as its premise that understanding how movies are put together and taking a close look at their cinematography, editing, sound, and plot development can deepen students’ appreciation of cinematic form. Students will be guided through a close viewing of four movies that share a ‘coming of age’ theme.


Sports Writing: Basketball 101
Who’s better, Kobe or Lebron? How will Lebron’s decision to Join D-Wade in Miami affect his image or “brand”? What is the significance of Michael Jordan’s legacy as a player and as a public figure? How does basketball reflect, reinforce, or influence perceptions of race in American society? By tapping into an active interest in sports, students will be motivated to analyze statistics, player performance, and larger sociological issues (e.g. race, economics, culture of celebrity), to conduct guided and independent research, and to construct persuasive, evidence-based arguments supporting their findings and opinions.


The West Side Story
Based on a popular musical, West Side Story, this course uses the timeless story of rivalry between two city gangs to explore themes of immigration, gang violence, integration, tolerance, and urban renewal in the setting of New York City. The course is intended to help high school students who are English language learners pass the English Language Arts (ELA) exam and develop skills necessary to succeed at college-level reading and writing.


Functions in Art and Design
In this course, students are introduced to mathematical functions and taught how to construct new examples, make conjectures, generalize results, and ask significant questions. Students in this class will strengthen their problem-solving skills as they examine various works of art, corporate logos, frieze patterns and Islamic wallpaper through the lens of linear and exponential functions. They will apply concepts such as composition, transformations, and inverses as they explore symmetry functions in. Students are introduced to mathematical functions and taught how to construct new examples, make conjectures, generalize results, and ask significant questions. Knowledge gained in this class can be transferred to pre-calculus or calculus classes.


Integrated Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra II/Trigonometry at Queens College
These courses complement the math curriculum students are taking in their high schools. They are Regents related in that they address the topics on those exams and provide a boost for students as they prepare to sit for their respective Regents exams. Their goal is to help create self-confident math students who trust their ability to analyze and solve mathematical problems and who, at the end of the course, have a chance to pass the Regents exams with a minimum score of 80 to be exempt from math remediation when they matriculate at a college.


College Awareness and Advisory

Think College Now
This workshop strengthens students’ desire to go to college and to increases their college knowledge. It starts with a photo and writing project that raises self-awareness, goes on to answer the question ‘why go to college’, and uses activities such as campus tours, interviews of college students and goal setting to start students on their path to college.