Welcome to Alvernia! Kick off your first year with confidence, success skills, new friends, and credits at no cost to you!


Take advantage of free, virtual summer courses designed specifically to welcome first year students to Alvernia’s intellectual community. These courses were developed in response to student interest, current events, or hot topics. Courses will give new students the opportunity to get to know other students and outstanding faculty in a brief three-week course. These classes will be capped at 15-20 students to promote engagement and build relationships. Registration is limited.     


Explore the classes below and our advisors will carefully review your interests and transcripts to ensure that you are placed in a course that is suitable for the beginning of your academic career!


Once you have selected a course(s), please click here to register. Our team will reach out to you via email to discuss choices and confirm placement. Spots will be limited to keep faculty to student ratios low in order to support relationship-building!


Take advantage of this great opportunity to engage with Alvernia faculty and fellow students. You'll kick-off your freshman year with earned credits - at no cost to you.


Session 1: July 11- July 29


One-credit courses are designated as Freshman Only. Class sizes will be capped to ensure access to the instructor.

 EDU 190: Skills for College Success (1 credit)

Course Description: Be smart. Be college - ready. Be present. Prepare for college studies and have tons of fun! Learn the skills of smart reading and writing, and practice mindfulness to control college stress through engaging activities. This course, taught by education professors, is open to all majors.                                                   

Instructor: Dr. Elena Lawrick, Dr. Kathy McCord and Lucinda Schaeffer 

Day/Time: T/TH 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM in-person

ENG 190: Taylor Swift Appreciation  (1 credit)

Course Description: Taylor Swift Appreciation will use materials from 1989, reputation, Lover, folklore, evermore and Red (Taylor's Version) to introduce students to close reading and literary analysis. We will hunt for easter eggs, annotate lyrics, and build a new appreciation for Taylor's skill as a songwriter and content creator. Swifties and non-Swifties alike are welcome! 

Instructor: Jessica Hamlet 

Day/Time: Monday and Wednesday 9-10:30am, via Zoom

PHI 190: Philosophy Games  (1 credit)

Course Description: If you could upload an exact copy of your mind onto a computer, would it still be you? If you lost all your memories, how would you know yourself? If you can always half the distance between two points, how can you ever get to the end? This class will address puzzling questions like this and more! Learn to think philosophically through interactive group activities, logical puzzles, and games. Students will be introduced to key issues related to ethical values, critical thinking, and the meaning of life. 

Instructor: Dr. Janae Sholtz 

Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday 11 :30am-1 :00pm, via Zoom

POS 190: The Politics of Cyberspace (1 credit)

Course Description: This course investigates the intersection between technology and various areas of politics. In recent times, new technologies such as the Internet, social media, viruses, cryptocurrency, and smartphones have altered political communication, elections, citizen participation, and warfare. This course will address these concepts, investigating how technology has changed the study of politics and the implications these changes have political for institutions and political behavior. 

Instructor:  Dr. Nicholas Nicoletti 

Day/Time:  Monday and Wednesday, 11 :00am-12:30pm, via Zoom

CJ 190: Criminal Justice in a Post Hippy Era (1 credit)

Course Description: Learn about how it was and how it is and find out how technology has influenced criminal justice careers. 

Instructor: Rosemary McFee 

Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 10-11 :30am, via Zoom

THE 190: Technology and Spirituality (1 credit)

Course Description: This course will explore the implications that technological advances have on our spirituality. Because the relationship between technology and spirituality is a developing area of research, the course will investigate contemporary literature on the subject and invite deeper reflection on the effects that technology has on our lives. 

Instructor: Scott Davidson 

Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 11 :15am-12:45pm, via Zoom

THE 190: Christmas and Easter; Beliefs and Practices (1 credit)

Course Description: The seasons of Christmas and Easter are the two most meaningful times of memory and celebration within the religion of Christianity. The purpose of this course is to investigate the connection between what Christians believe about Christmas and Easter and the many religious and family practices that have evolved over time around these important holidays. 

Instructor: Or. Kevin Godfrey 

Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 1 0:00am-11 :30am, via Zoom

THR 190 Creative Wellness for College (1 credit)

Course Description: Develop and discover your own wellness practices using a mix of movement, creativity exercises, stress awareness and reduction, and other skills with Artist-in-Residence in Dance. 

Instructor: Jessica Warchal-King 

Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 10:00am-11 :30am, via Zoom

PED 190: Applied Sports Performance (1 credit)

Course Description: This course will lead students through the fundamentals of sports performance through classroom and applied learning. The course will focus on the physiological adaptations of strength, power, hypertrophy, speed, agility, and conditioning. The course will be held Monday through Thursday in the Alvernia Plex Weight Room. Note that this is an in­- person course for local incoming freshman. 

Instructor: Nick Hurff 

Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:00-2:30pm


Session 2: August 1- August 19


One-credit courses are designated as Freshman Only. Class sizes will be capped to ensure access to the instructor.

PSY 190 "It's HOW You THINK that matters"  (1 credit)

Course Description: Metacognition is becoming aware of how the gray matter in our brain allows us to learn and retain information, literally, "thinking about thinking." In this course we will talk about specific ways to maximize brain functioning so you can do your best in other courses. This course 
will introduce you to metacognitive strategies and help you to determine which strategies work best for you as you continue your educational journey in college. 


Instructor: Dr. Erin Way


Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday 3:00-4:30 pm, via Zoom


PHI 190: Food Ethics (1 credit)

Course Description: Food is more than just fuel for the body. It not only provides nutrition and energy but also 
reflects our culture and identity. What is food and whaUhow should we eat? The course discusses philosophical and ethical issues on healthy, sustainable, humane, and socially responsible food and eating. 


Instructor: Dr. Bongrae Seok


Day/Time: Monday and Wednesday 11 :00am-12:30pm, via Zoom

PHI 190: Philosophy Meets Covid-19 (1 credit)

Course Description: This course will be a brief introduction to existentialism as a philosophy and a way of life. 
What might existentialism have to teach us about our lives during the COVID-19 pandemic? Students will be introduced to existentialist poetry, short stories, and documentaries with the aim to examine the human condition in times of war, violence, contagion, and chaos. 


Instructor: Dr. Josh Hayes


Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 11 :00am-12:30pm, via Zoom

THE 190: Sexuality and Spirituality (1 credit)

Course Description: This course will examine how human sexuality is intimately related to numerous spiritual traditions in Judaism and Christianity. It will include a survey of religious experiences from ancient times to the present with a focus on how physical embodiment and sexual desire contribute to the human experience of and longing for God. 


Instructor: Scott Davidson


Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 11 :15am-12:45pm, via Zoom

THE 190: Introduction to Cathedrals (1 credit)

Course Description: All cathedrals are churches, but not all churches are cathedrals. Some of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world are architectural and theological wonders that draw people by the thousands to visit them annually. What is a cathedral? What goes on inside cathedrals? Why do people flock to see and experience cathedrals? 


Instructor: Dr. Kevin Godfrey 


Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 10-11:30am, via Zoom

UNIV 190: Head, Shoulders, and Needs to Know in Anatomy & Physiology  (1 credit)

Course Description: Calling All Healthcare Majors! Join your peers in Athletic Training, Healthcare Science, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy to learn how to succeed in Anatomy and Physiology courses. Meet your professors and gain early experience with college lectures, virtual labs, and Supplemental Instruction. You will also practice the science of learning with the Academic Success Center. 


Instructor: Dr. Ondra Kielbasa, Dr. Eric Recktenwald and Carla Mannix


Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 10-11:30am, via Zoom

AT 190: Specialized Healthcare: Current Topics in Sports Medicine (1 credit)

Course Description: Healthcare for the all levels of physically active individuals across their lifespan……Answer: What is “Sports Medicine”. This course will introduce students to specialized healthcare for athletes and physically active individuals. Students will explore a variety of clinical “hot topics” within sports medicine. Many of these topics involve injury or disease which adversely affects a person’s ability to participate in sports, physical activity and/or recreational activities across their lifespan. Students will identify the members of the “Sports Medicine Team” and discuss their role as practitioners. These topics will be discussed via synchronous online lecture and small group discussion (ZOOM). Students will have the opportunity to research a clinical “hot topic” and present their findings in a small group discussion format.


Instructor: Dr. Tom Franek


Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 10-11:30am, via Zoom


MOD 6: July 7 - August 19


This is a 7-week summer session - from July 7 to August 19.This session runs every summer with different course offerings. However, these are accelerated, online courses that are open to all Alvernia students.  Note for Engineering majors: Based on your high school transcripts and on your math placement test scores you may be identified as needing Precalculus (MAT 131) before entering Calculus I. To graduate in four years, it is imperative that you take Calculus I (MAT 230) in the Fall.   

BIO 290/C/60: Special Topics: Animal Models Biomedical/Zoological Research - Online  (3 credits)

Course Description: This course presents an overview of the animals used in both biomedical and zoological research. Animals ranging from chimpanzees to nematodes are studied by scientists to gain a meaningful understanding of diseases, surgical techniques, prosthetics, medications, nutrition, and even the safety of simple household items such as soaps, make-up, and lotions. The regulations and ethical dilemmas associated with using animal models in research will be examined. Fulfills Lab Science. 


Instructor: TBD

BIO 203/C/60: Biosphere - Online (3 credits)

Course Description: The course Biosphere studies humans and their interactions with their environment. Topics include ecological principles (the nature of nature), energy and natural resources issues, pollution problems, and threats to the Biodiversity of the planet. Specific consideration will be given to humanity's ability to alter and change nature from historical and current perspectives; and how we can learn to live in harmony with nature. Fulfills Lab Science.


Instructor: Dale Kratzer

MAT 131/C/60: Pre-Calculus Math, via zoom (3 credits)

Course Description: This course is an introduction to relations and functions including polynomial, rational, trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions and their graphs. 


Instructor: Dr. David Shoup


Day/Time: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 1-3:00pm, via Zoom


Images of a summer zoom class
Incoming Freshmen - Register for Summer Courses