Pre-Collegiate Program

What is NIAHD’s Pre-Collegiate Summer Program in Early American History?

If you are at least a sophomore in high school, you have an opportunity this summer to travel back in time to discover early America in a unique hands-on way. 

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This immersive course will offer a variety of approaches to studying the past, but the chief feature will be classes conducted ”on site” at the abundant historic places in the Chesapeake region.  Readings and classroom work at the college will set the stage for the site visits by providing essential background on the wider context of American development.

A Pre-Collegiate student tries on servant's livery at the Peyton Randolph House in Colonial Williamsburg.

Instructors will use archaeology sites, surviving period structures, historic landscapes, battlefields, and a series of museums to guide students in a search for the American past. Students will take one course, History 216, and may choose from the topic From the Founding of Jamestown through the American Revolution, or From the American Revolution through the American Civil War. The class From the Founding of Jamestown through the American Revolution begins where the old world societies of Europe and Africa collided with the new world society of Native Americans on the banks of the nearby James River early in the seventeenth century and follows the American saga for nearly two hundred years through the Revolutionary Era at the end of the eighteenth century. From the American Revolution through the American Civil War picks up with the American victory at nearby Yorktown during the struggle for independence and continues the story through the fall of the Confederate capital at Richmond to Union forces in 1865.

For three weeks this summer, students from all sections of the country will relentlessly pursue the intertwined, often tempestuous stories of Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, and their descendants by visiting the places where they lived, observing the things they touched, and by immersing themselves in the saga of early American life as told by historians, archaeologists, and museum professionals. Sound intriguing? Come join us!

Visit NIAHD’s Pre-Collegiate Web Page for more information and for how to apply.  

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