Course Overview

Students will utilize the Syracuse University Outdoor and Indoor Challenge Course to complete a team intensive learning experience designed to help students better understand the inner workings of how groups function from a variety of perspectives. We will utilize the high ropes course to learn strategies for teamwork that are based on shared experiences and high adventure. Students will have an opportunity for reflection and processing throughout the class so that they have a better understanding of themselves and how they impact others when they are in their comfort zone as well as when placed into situations that are beyond their comfort zone…a place we call the learning zone. Each student’s own reflections as well as group discussions will help them to process the experience along the way and apply the learning not only to the task at hand but also to a generalized sense of how these types of situations play out in their relationships with others, in classroom-based situations as well as throughout their day to day lives and future careers.

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

Learning Objectives

Topics covered include but are not limited to:

  • Students will be able to describe Tuckman’s stages of group development
  • Students will be able to describe at least 2 styles of leadership based on a situational leadership model
  • Students will be able to explain Kolb’s Experiential Learning model and how it can be applied to a group
  • Students will be able to describe the term “challenge by choice” and how it can be applied to a group
  • Students will be able to define the “comfort, stretch, panic” model as a means of learning from experiences
  • Students will be able to describe at least 3 possible outcomes of working together on a high ropes course

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 185

Format: On Campus (at Syracuse University)

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior status – or a 2024 high school graduate.

This program will require students to have physical mobility that would allow them, for example, to independently climb a ladder.

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail


  • Residential: $2,195
  • Commuter: $1,726

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.

“The six week program was an amazing experience and I loved it. I loved meeting so many new people from around the world and I enjoyed all the weekly activities Syracuse had for all the students. This program was a wonderful experience that I will never forget. Go Orange!”

– Ruby Isabella F., Summer College Student, 2021

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesClass Time (EST)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – On Campus 1-Week Session II: Monday, July 22 – Friday, July 26, 2024MTWThF;
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Noncredit Closed
*Students break for lunch daily for approximately one hour.

Course Requirements

Required Supplies

Students should bring a pair of closed toed shoes, such as sneakers (no sandals or crocs).

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

  • Eat breakfast in your residence hall on your own or with classmates
  • Catch a bus from your residence hall to our south campus outdoor education center
  • Discuss concepts with your instructor as they relate to the day ahead and / or to the previous day’s instruction
  • Learn about equipment that will be used that day and gear up to be ready to embark on the days challenge
  • Utilize our high ropes course throughout the day with a variety of challenges designed to build the group
  • Work together to solve tasks and activities that require you to think and act as a team
  • Utilize a variety of equipment and understand how it works and why we use it
  • Lunch break halfway through the day
  • Participate in group activities designed to build relationships and team work within your group
  • Discuss/actively reflect on a variety of topics as they surface throughout the activities and then process the larger experience at the end of the day before departing back to your residence hall for the evening
  • Have fun with your fellow classmates and build relationships through meaningful shared experiences

Faculty Bios

Scott Catucci

With over 20 years of professional experience in the fields of Outdoor Recreation, Experiential Education and Team & Leadership Development, Scott Catucci is the Associate Director for Outdoor Recreation within the Barnes Center Health & Wellness unit at Syracuse University (SU). Starting as the assistant director for outdoor education in 2005 and then taking on his current role in 2013, Scott has grown the program to it’s present capacity, developing & overseeing various program areas and facilities including; outdoor adventure trips, high element ropes / challenge course, team and student development programming, indoor climbing wall, esports / gaming room as well as the cross country ski & snowshoe center. Scott earned a B.S.E in Recreation Education along with a M.S.E in Management of Leisure Services from the S.U.N.Y. College at Cortland and a M.A. in Audio Arts from Syracuse University. Before accepting the position with SU, Scott led the Cayuga Nature Centers TEAM Challenge program which consisted of both a low and high element ropes / challenge course designed primarily to serve local and regional school groups. His first job in the outdoor recreation industry was back in 1998 leading teen adventure trips for the Frost Valley YMCA.

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