The University of Connecticut’s (UConn) Pre-College Summer program is an ideal way for rising high school junior and senior students to ease the transition from high school to college, strengthen their college applications, make friends with similar academic interests, gain hands-on experience, establish ties with the university and its faculty, and become familiar with a large college campus.
During two one-week sessions students are steeped in an academic area of their choice taught with a creative and engaging approach by UConn faculty in an intellectual and fun format. Academic areas include The Arts, Chemistry, Communications – Media, Creative Writing, Digital Media – Game Design, Drama, Engineering - Civil and Environmental, Music, Sustainable Living, Sociology – Human Behavior, Sociology – Social Justice, Spanish, or Statistics – Big Data. The purpose of these academic areas is to provide participants with a survey of the discipline, one that helps them to understand how the science or art is applied in life.
All of the Pre-College academic foci are non-credit, allowing students to explore, learn, and enjoy the subjects through a low-pressure and fun format. By eliminating the element of grades or assessment many students find this a perfect opportunity to fully engage with subject matter, faculty, and peers. However, while non-credit, these academic foci offer a rigorously presented understanding of the fundamentals of each discipline.
Alongside academic foci, students are exposed to a number of skill building workshops targeted at the cultivation of capacity within topics such as self-presentation, online learning, selecting a major, and identifying personal skills and assets. These workshops allow all of the cohorts to come together as one large group, offering students the chance to connect through subjects other than that of their chosen academic foci. Students find workshops to be an excellent opportunity to both expand on personal understanding, as well as, meet new friends and University faculty.
The housing/residency option is the most common method of attending. Housing plays a vital role in the success of the Pre-College Summer program and its participants by providing quality facilities, personnel, services, and programs which contribute to the mission of the program. Within the residential environment individuals are challenged and supported to develop into productive community members who are prepared to enrich society. Facilities are air-conditioned and provide many comforts of home, including, study and meeting areas, recreation rooms, and private bathing facilities. Many students cite how bonding was facilitated through the communal living environment afforded by a spectacular array of housing services.
Shared meals are one of our favorite times together. UConn’s Dining Services boasts nourishing and diverse meal options that include consideration for the environment. With a host of nutritious choices and accommodations for special dietary requirements, our culinary staff is ready to serve up innovative, healthy, and delicious creations. Meal time isn’t just about eating; students, faculty, and staff alike find shared meals to provide time to laugh, converse, reflect, and build relationships.
Students have the opportunity to engage in a number of extracurricular activities such as visits to the UConn Dairy Bar, painting the “UConn Rock,” touring the campus, visiting the Storrs downtown area, playing games in the game-room, hiking to see spectacular sunsets, and enjoying the Mansfield Community Center. These are just a few of the great activities students may experience. We believe that students are not only here to grow academically but to also grow socially. Students say that the “downtime” they have within the program helps them to bond with peers and mentors and that these relationships can last long-past their time within the Pre-College program.