Cornell‘s Adult University (CAU) invites alumni, their friends and family, and the general public to expand their minds this summer by taking live, online courses taught by Cornell faculty and graduate students.

These weeklong CAU classes, offered through the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions and eCornell, range from art to engineering and science and will run July 12 through August 6, 2021. 

The summer program continues CAU’s success in offering online courses last summer and again this winter due to the pandemic. Traditionally, CAU hosts trips around the world and on-campus summer programming, all taught by Cornell faculty, for adults and youth.

“True to form, Cornell’s faculty and graduate students have generously supported CAU’s summer online learning initiatives by offering to teach a range of subjects to our avid learners, finding the experience to be both refreshing and rewarding,” said CAU’s director, Lora Gruber-Hine.

“Feedback from CAU students has encouraged instructors to maximize student interactions and incorporate diverse activities to keep learning engaging and fun.”

This summer’s weeklong online courses will feature synchronous lectures and discussions, small class sizes, one-on-one interactions with instructors and group learning sessions. Participants will earn a custom Cornell certificate upon successful completion of their course.

Adults may register in weeklong courses on architecture, Finger Lakes natural history, Italian film, Indonesia, ocean biodiversity, photography, poetry, and wine tasting. Each course features four hours of live, interactive content taught by Cornellfaculty, three or more hours of asynchronous learning and access to curated resources.

Cornell physics professor Jim Alexander and his mother attended the Archipelago: Indonesia Past and Present course taught last winter (and again this summer) by Eric Tagliacozzo, the John Stambaugh Professor of History. Alexander said he was impressed by the quality of the instruction and the curriculum.

“Eric was an excellent teacher and covered a wide range of topics and history with evident deep expertise,” Alexander said. “He was completely open to questions and discussion, which helped make the class lively and engaged.”

With fingers crossed for in-person programming to be possible again soon, Alexander will lead his own CAU class on a physics education vacation to Switzerland and CERN in 2022.

Also on tap this summer are CAU programs for youth and teens ages 10–15. Students may register for weeklong courses in biomedical engineering, cryptography, spider science, bird identification, physics, cosmology, and veterinary science. These courses feature five hours of live, interactive content taught by a Cornell instructor along with access to educational resources and tailored materials.

Stamatios Taramas, a parent who signed his son up for the winter bioengineering course (offered again this summer with Jeremy Keys, a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering), said the class was excellent.

“Jeremy was awesome, both in the lectures and the recordings. He analyzed everything thoroughly, but left room for the student to engage in research on his own. My son found the class very interactive and engaging.”

Class size is limited to 20 participants for adults and 30 participants for youth and teens, so interested students are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

Registration closes in mid-June for most courses. For more information and instructions on how to register, visit the CAU website.

This article was first published on and was authored by Shelley Preston.

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