College Prep

Pre-College Workshops

Creative thinking. Problem solving. Hands-on experience.

Jumpstart your college experience with a SMU Pre-College workshop to explore new interests, dive into topics that you’re passionate about, and use leading-edge tools in programs led by expert educators.

Develop essential skills to achieve academic and professional success. Offered during the summer, on weekends, and during school breaks, you can choose from workshops in topics like business and entrepreneurship, marketing, writing, design and more.

Join other creative, innovative and enterprising students like yourself and see the difference it will make, now and in the future. You’ll make new friends and challenge yourself in new ways.


Upcoming Virtual Pre-College Workshops

Fiction Writing for Teens

For students in grades 8 -12

Saturdays, October 3, 10, 17, 24, 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 


Join other teen writers who are passionate about writing fiction in a critique group with published author Michelle Schusterman. Every Saturday, the group will meet via Zoom for a writing craft chat, followed by a discussion of each writer's work-in-progress. Work on your writing and read your peers' stories during the week in preparation to give and receive constructive feedback during class. You will also learn about career paths for writers, choosing a publishing path and more. Join us to take your fiction to the next level!




Fall Pre-College Webinar Series

Free webinars for middle and high school students

Our free webinars will provide engaging content, relevant strategies, and encourage you to explore new interests. Webinars will be offered on Saturdays from September 2020 to May 2021 (excluding December). Instructors will cover interesting topics like what colleges look for in an applicant, personal finance essentials for college-bound students, creative writing and more. Webinars will be followed by a question and answer session where you are invited to ask individual questions. Join your peers and jumpstart your college experience!


Personal Finance Essentials for College-Bound Students

September 19, 2 – 3 p.m.

Instructor: Libby Magliolo

Discover the core personal finance topics that high school students need to learn before they head off to college as well as the conversations that families should have around key topics like FAFSA, student loans and paying for college in order to set goals and expectations together.


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The Worlds of Writing Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror

October 3, 2 – 3 p.m.

Instructor: Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

Writing in the speculative fiction genres--fantasy, science fiction, horror, magical realism, and fabulism alike--often require the writer to play creator not only of characters but also of whole worlds and cultures. A well-built world can transport a reader, while mistakes in world-building can break a reader's concentration. In this webinar, we'll discuss crafting worlds from the ground up.


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How to Stand Out in College Admissions:

An Insider’s Guide to Getting in Your Dream School

October 17, 2 – 3 p.m.

Instructor: Deidra Fisher

Explore the most important priorities for colleges when reviewing applications and making decisions. You’ll learn the key factors admission committees consider, and discover ways to improve your college profile. This webinar is an essential starting point for any high school student beginning the college application journey.


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ACT vs. SAT: Which Test is Right for You?

October 24, 2 – 3 p.m.

Instructor: Mindy O'Connell

Wondering which test is right for you? Learn about each test, practice some questions and determine which test will showcase your best self. This webinar is an essential starting point for any high school student in their college preparation.


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Explore Emerging IT College Majors

November 7, 2 – 3 p.m.

Instructor: Jamita Machen

Explore the top emerging IT college majors--Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Blockchain--to help you plan your college career and beyond. The widening gap between available high growth industry jobs and skilled US workers provides an opportunity to set yourself up as an in-demand job candidate with a major in an emerging IT area. In addition to the top IT college majors, we will discuss certifications that could be pursued concurrently with your degree.


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Portfolios: Not Just for Art School

November 14, 2 – 3 p.m.

Instructor: Karen Damwijk

A portfolio reflects your skills, abilities and achievements and is a collection of your work, whether that be fashion, photography, writing, sketching, music, animation, design, film, painting, marketing, web design, advertising and so on. In this webinar, you will discover the importance of creating a portfolio for college admission and/or future prospective employers. We will look at portfolio examples using Adobe Behance, a free online platform for building a custom portfolio, getting inspired by others, and learning new skills.


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More Webinars Coming Soon!

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Questions? Contact us at or 214-768-2273.