Spotlight: Summer Academy

“I LOST MY SUMMER BUT FOUND MY FUTURE.”- Summer Academy Participant

Summer Academy is a six week academic enrichment program designed to prepare our Scholars for college success.

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SCS Noonan Scholars launched the Summer Academy in 2012 after finding that a large percentage of Scholars were transitioning out of their intended majors due to struggling academically during their freshman year. The Academy was designed to offset the discrepancy in academic preparation between many low-income students and those from more affluent schools. The 210+ hours of academic instruction in college-level courses combined with the admissions counseling, college orientation, and social-emotional enrichment sessions ensure that students are attending their “best-fit” selective colleges and are prepared to succeed once on campus.

Scholars participate in the Summer Academy after their 11th grade year and again after their 12th grade year. In 2019, the Summer Academy for rising 12th graders will take place at Amherst College and the Summer Academy for rising college first-years will take place at the University of Southern California.

Academic Preparation

Summer Academy’s non-graded Calculus and English writing courses have been traditionally taught by college professors from Amherst College, Emerson College, MIT, Smith, UCLA and USC. Assessments determine students’ math competency at entry, and students are grouped accordingly to maximize learning. The whole-group instruction is complemented by multiple hours of small-group practice led by teaching assistants.

Enrichment Sessions

Throughout the Academy, Scholars participate in tailored enrichment programming.

Each program day includes a personal and professional development component. During this time, juniors hear presentations from selective colleges, receive admissions advising and financial aid counseling, and work on college applications.

Seniors focus on preparing for the social emotional demands of college and mapping their campus resources. SCS Noonan program alumni also share advice and relay their experiences. Seniors will meet individually with a College Success Counselor who will be their go-to person at SCS Noonan Scholars for support throughout their time in college.

To ensure inclusivity, the program is free to students and all of the costs, including transportation to Summer Academy, housing, and meals are covered by SCS Noonan Scholars. Additionally, students receive a new laptop computer and a $500 stipend.