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Summer programs offer go-getters early college experiences

College is the stepping-stone that bridges early education and future career paths. This summer, students are once again being offered an opportunity to engage in the college experience ahead of time, through Ohio University’s Early Start and Honors Academy programs.  
The application deadline for Honors Academy is May 18; the deadline for Early Start is May 25.

The freshman fall class of 2012 is encouraged to jump start their journey through Early Start. The program offers two four-week summer sessions where admitted freshman can experience both the academic and community culture of Ohio University.

"Summer enrollment gives new students a very good basis and helps them feel more confident in knowing their way around, allowing for a quieter and more relaxed time to get accustomed to class work," said Assistant Director of the Office of Summer Sessions Patricia Davidson.

After an orientation session, students can register for one to four classes, with University College Learning Community Seminar (UC 190) being a requirement. This learning community class helps students adapt to university life, explore majors and their requirements, establish educational and career goals and develop necessary skills for college success.

Grouped together on South Green, Early Start students also have an early opportunity to experience residence life, which fosters student relationships and sense of responsibility needed at the college level.

"What we find is when students come in through Early Start, since they are motivated to come a quarter early, they are more likely to be more successful," said Davidson.

Ohio University embraces future students as well. The Honors Academy program is open to individuals who have completed their freshman, sophomore or junior years of high school with at least a 3.25 grade point average on a 4.0 grade scale.

Though Honors Academy students are up to three years younger than Early Start participants, they are offered the same opportunities and experiences. However, the learning community seminars have different goals.

Whereas the Early Start seminars group similar students, helping them feel connected to the classroom setting, the Honors Academy seminars showcase OHIO's many offerings. Honors Academy staff familiarize students with the Academic Advancement Center, Career Services, Campus Care and other student help centers, with the hope of recruiting future Bobcats.

Various activities are open to Early Start and Honors Academy students outside the classroom. Students are encouraged to participate to further acclimate to the University and Athens community. Such activities include:

  • Series of band concerts
  • Free movies, some shown outdoors
  • City pool, free with an OHIO I.D.
  • Sponsored free bucket of golf
  • Sponsored bowling night  
  • Corn hole tournaments
  • Recreational activities at the Ping Center
  • Ohio Valley Summer Theater
  • Community service experiences

Through coursework, residence life and activity, students develop a foundation to grow as their college careers advance. And in many cases, the programs pave the way for even more opportunities down the road.  

"By starting in summer, they can release the pressure of trying to get finished in the shortest time possible and sequencing and so forth, making room for internships and other opportunities," Davidson said.