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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Introduction to Negotiations and Conflict Resolution

Dates: July 16-August 5, 2017 (3 weeks)
Credits: 3 credits
Eligibility: current sophomores, juniors, seniors
(see eligibility requirements)
Apply by: May 5, 2017


Whether it's with parents, friends, enemies, political adversaries, or other countries, conflicts large and small are inevitable throughout our lives. How do you navigate them so that all parties get enough of what they want to be satisfied? How do you move forward when the outcome you desire is very different from the outcome desired by your opponent? And in what context do you enlist the help of a third party?

Led by Rocco Scanza, director of the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University, this three-week program combines classroom discussion and analysis of dispute resolution techniques, including negotiation, arbitration, and mediation, with opportunities to participate in realistic exercises and group discussions.

You'll develop an understanding of the processes used to address conflicts in interpersonal, school/workplace, and commercial spheres as well as the practices and policies associated with the mediation of employment disputes. You'll assess the effectiveness of arbitration and mediation and draw conclusions about the best practices used by neutral parties.

Subjects you'll cover include:

  • Negotiating styles and their characteristics and impact
  • Models and stages of mediation
  • Emotions and ethical issues in mediation
  • Mediating workplace, social, and family issues
  • Closure and settlements
  • Arbitration law and the arbitration of workplace disputes
  • Putting it altogether: arbitration case study

Conflict resolution is vital to our wellbeing; to success in our families, communities, schools, and institutions; and even to our future on this planet. The knowledge you'll gain, skills you'll develop, and insights you'll glean in this program are sure to prove useful as you navigate the inevitable conflicts that will come your way.

Course expectations

Students are expected to

  • attend class daily;
  • participate in exercises and classroom discussions;
  • participate in in-class role-playing simulations and group exercises; and
  • adhere strictly to the standards of academic integrity outlined in Cornell's Code of Academic Conduct.


You'll be enrolled in the three-credit course Introduction to Negotiations and Conflict Resolution (ILRLR 3035).

This course meets Mondays through Fridays from 9:00–11:30 a.m.

Maximum enrollment: 35

Note: You combine this program with a three-week 1 program to create a six-week Dual Program.

Required textbook

Title Author Cost
Fundamentals of Labor Arbitration Jay E. Grenig and Rocco M. Scanza $TBD

This title will be available at The Cornell Store.

Additional reading assignments will be available on reserve at the Catherwood and Law Libraries or online on the course's Blackboard website.

Special scheduling


  • Monday, July 17: College Admissions Workshop, 2:30–3:45 p.m.
  • Monday, July 24: College Fair, 4:00–6:00 p.m., Statler Hall Ballroom
  • Saturday, August 5: Graduation ceremony, 11:00 a.m.–noon


Students and their families are cordially invited to an informal graduation on Saturday, August 5 from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Students will each receive a Cornell University Summer College certificate and be able to take farewell photos with their friends and faculty. Note that attendance is not required, but is highly recommended and is a nice way to conclude the program. Dress is smart casual.

Checkout dates and times

Before making travel plans, review the checkout dates and times for your program. We strictly adhere to these deadlines.

Program directors

Rocco Scanza

Rocco M. Scanza is director of the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University and an attorney, arbitrator, and mediator of labor and employment disputes. He teaches courses in mediation and arbitration in Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations and at Cornell Law School.

Prior to joining Cornell, Scanza designed and conducted conflict management programs for the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of State, and the Department of Energy. He also practiced labor law, representing public and private sector employers in California, and taught mediation and arbitration at various law schools and graduate programs, including Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Scanza is a graduate of Queens College in New York City and of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He is a former national vice president with the American Arbitration Association and a member of all major national arbitration and mediation panels, including the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and the National Mediation Board. He is the coauthor of Fundamentals of ADR: Labor Arbitration (2010) and Preparation, Presentation and Evidence: A Guide for the Arbitration Advocate (2012).

“On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever. For students, learning about conflict and conflict resolution should be a fundamental part of their educational experience. My goal is to provide my students with the knowledge and skills to use negotiations and dispute resolution processes to resolve a wide range of conflict situations.” —Rocco M. Scanza

Student experiences

"Summer College is the most wonderful academic experience I have ever had. The content was clear and useful, the professor was experienced and patient, and our TA was easy to get along with and always willing to help. I will remember this special experience my whole life." — Chen Ge, 2016