Course Overview

High school students will immerse themselves in the kitchen atmosphere for two weeks exploring the broad scope of food from the perspectives of the chef, the scientist, the farmer, and the consumer. This course is designed for students interested in the cycle of food and farms and how they intersect to complete the flow of food, as we know it; as well as, to understand implications of current systems and changes for the future.

Students will gain perspective of the cycle of food from the farm to the fork by exploring the whole chain of products all the way through to the waste stream. Students will be provided with chef coats and hats, and can look forward to researching various issues of the contemporary food landscape. They will visit areas of food from the supplier to the waste hauler, learn basics of food safety, how the application of heat changes food, and how to prepare food from a local farm and how to manage the campus garden that supports to school food pantry. Through the completion of this course, all students will gain a food handlers certificate.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University noncredit transcript.

Course Objectives

After taking this course, students will be able to:

  1. Achieve a food handlers certificate from the National Restaurant Association
  2. Be able to apply science and nutrition to food in a variety of hands-on activities
  3. Learn how to utilize Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and why it is important
  4. Gain knowledge relating to the flow of food in the economy and the environment through in-field observations of the local supply chain
  5. Research an issue related to food studies, and present it to their peers
  6. Organize and execute a final event for themselves, their families and the department

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 046

Format: On Campus (at Syracuse University)

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school junior, or senior status – or a 2022 high school graduate. 

Credit: NC

Grading: Pass/Fail


  • Residential: $3,585
  • Commuter: $2,730

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees.  Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – On Campus: Experience what college is really like: take a college-level course, live in a residence hall, have meals with friends in a dining hall, and participate in activities and events on campus.

“I absolutely loved my time at Syracuse University Summer College 2020 and truly mean it when I say that it changed my life.”

— Maggie S., Summer College Student, 2020

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesClass Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – On Campus2-Week Session I: Sunday, July 3 – Friday, July 15, 2022MTWThF;
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Class times subject to change.

Course Requirements

Required Textbook and Supplies

  • Students need to have loose fitting long pants and closed toed and closed heeled shoes/sneakers for kitchen work; non-skid soles preferred.
  • Required readings will be assigned prior to the course and throughout sessions.
  • Students should budget for required textbooks and supplies.

Student Expectations

Students are expected to:

  • Be on time to class, be respectful of each other and instructors.
  • Bring a willingness to learn.
  • Participate individually and within groups where applicable.
  • Have fun learning and engaging with new people.

*NOTE to non-graded courses:

Students are expected to participate in the course as if it were for a credited grade. The instructor still must enter a “Pass or Fail” grade at the conclusion of the course. To receive a “P” (for passing) the students must complete 70% of the assigned coursework.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

The typical day will encompass lecture and classroom activities related to daily topics. For instance, exploring gluten and its function will have a lecture related to the science with a lab following to demonstrate how gluten works. Another example is a tour of a local farm followed by a day in the kitchen preparing foods from the farm and comparing them to foods purchased in a large retail outlet.

Generally, the day will be broken into morning and afternoon sessions with a lunch break in the middle.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College – On Campus activities to meet and connect with other students! Check out our On Campus Experience page for more information!

Field Trips

Students can look forward to potentially field trips to a farm and the OCRRA facility. We will also visit the campus garden, Hendrick’s chapel food pantry, and the bee hives on campus!

End Event

Parents are invited to the end event to celebrate the completion of the program on Friday, July 15. Students will prepare a final food event and presentation.

Faculty Bios

Mary Kiernan

Mary Kiernan came to Syracuse University in 2000 to work in Carrier Dome Catering where she managed 42 private suites and numerous other functions related to games and floor dinners. She became an instructor in Hospitality Management in 2007 and received her IMBA at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in 2012. She is an associate professor in the department of Food Studies and Nutrition with a concentration in operations and culinary arts. Professor Kiernan was recently interviewed for an article on NBC’s TODAY website.

American Culinary Federation Certifications:

  • Certified Chef de Cuisine
  • Certified Culinary Educator
  • American Academy of Chefs Fellow

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