High school sophomores and juniors excited about summer school? Exactly.
Stony Brook is steadfast in its commitment to help current and prospective students from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed. That dedication does not stop when summer arrives.
During the week of July 5 through July 10, 48 tenth- and eleventh-graders participated in Stony Brook University’s new Pre-College Summer Institute, run through the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).
This free program is aimed at inspiring first-generation students that might not otherwise consider college. High school counselors helped identify talented students, and Stony Brook faculty gave their time to offer classes. The program included students from four high-needs districts on Long Island — Amityville, Brentwood, Central Islip and Wyandanch — and Poospatuck Native American reservation (Center Moriches High School).
“Hopefully this Institute showed these students and their parents that an education at a great university here or elsewhere is achievable, and we are here to help them on that path,” said CAS Dean Sacha Kopp. “The students spent a part of their summer learning about what a college experience can look like — not only picking a major, but exploring new fields, discovering one’s self, and most importantly, seeing themselves as potential college students. I want to thank all the staff and faculty at Stony Brook, particularly Dr. Beth Squire, as well as our partner school districts, for making this happen.”
“The Pre-College Institute allowed students to get a preview of the college experience while exploring majors and disciplines taught in the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Beth Squire, a staff member in the CAS Academic Affairs Office, who helped organize the program. “The college admission and financial aid workshops helped students launch their college search process and empowered them to achieve acceptance into a college of their choice. We hope that this taste of college will whet these students’ appetites for more and make them see the possibility of college in their future.”
The students were housed in O’Neill College Residence Hall and were able to take mini-courses based on their interests in areas such as anthropology, biology, chemistry, foreign languages, geosciences, history, linguistics, literature, math, philosophy, physics, psychology, theater and writing. They also attended presentations on topics including financial aid, admissions, study abroad and research opportunities in college.
With many students asking to extend the weeklong program and wanting to return next summer, the Institute’s inaugural run was a huge success.
“Attending the pre-college program at Stony Brook this summer was an incredible experience,” said student participant Reeda Iqbal. “Initially I felt intimidated, but once I arrived at Stony Brook, I felt a sense of belonging and excitement. Most importantly, I was given the chance to experience college as a high school student, which is rare for students like me. I want to thank Stony Brook and the College of Arts and Sciences for hosting such as stellar program and eagerly recommend it for all to attend.”
“Going to Stony Brook as part of the College of Arts and Sciences pre-college program was one of the most fun experiences in my life so far,” said student Esteban Idrovo. “I was very fond of the courses and the hospitality. I made new friends and learned new ideas about what college life will be like.”
CAS plans to expand the program in future years to include space for more students.
— Lynne Roth