UVM was at the top of Ellie Myers’ list during her college search. Still, she had to be sure it was the right school for her.
To assure her that UVM was a good fit, Myers enrolled in UVM’s Summer Academy precollege program while still in high school and took classes in engineering and drawing.
“I wanted to see if I really liked engineering and could handle the course load,” says Myers, of Providence, R.I., now a UVM sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. “I had my eye on UVM for a while, and taking a precollege course really gives you a hint of what college is like.”
A Precollege Program that Continues to Grow
Ten years after UVM established its precollege program for high school students, more students like Myers who complete the precollege program are choosing UVM for their undergraduate degree.
Since 2004, 2,586 students have enrolled in UVM’s precollege program, of which 558 have matriculated to UVM. Of the 558 students, 86 have graduated, five have enrolled in UVM graduate programs, and one is a current medical student.
The number of students who have matriculated has been slowly but steadily climbing – from seven in 2005, to 38 in 2009, to 149 in 2014.
UVM’s precollege program is offered to high school juniors and seniors who can explore career fields with professors who are leading experts, enroll in classes with other high school college students, and earn transferable college credit.
“UVM’s precollege program is not only an effective way for students to get a head start on their college career, but also an opportunity for them to experience everything UVM has to offer,” says Beth Taylor-Nolan, assistant dean for Continuing and Distance Education, which oversees the UVM precollege program. “As our precollege program has grown more robust over the years and we continue to partner with the Office of Admissions on recruitment efforts, we’re seeing a growing number of precollege students matriculate to UVM.”
What UVM’s Precollege Program Offers
The precollege program attracts more than 350 students from Vermont, New England and beyond, offering more than 100 online and on-campus courses for high school students in the summer and throughout the academic year.
Summer Academy is a four-week program where students are part of a learning community and participate in off-campus and on-campus activities. Summer Academy has both residential and commuter options, and includes an online component.
In addition, UVM offers a faculty-led study abroad opportunity in Dublin, Ireland, and is launching a new precollege study abroad program in Costa Rica.
Vermont high school students have the opportunity to take up to two college courses tuition-free over two years under Vermont’s Dual Enrollment Program. Overseen by the Vermont Agency of Education, Vermont’s Dual Enrollment Program introduces college-level work to high school students and gives them a head start on college. The Dual Enrollment program is open to Vermont high school students who attend public schools.
Ruby LaBrusciano-Carris, who graduated from Twinfield Union High School in Plainfield in 2013, participated in UVM’s precollege program in the fall and spring of her senior year of high school and took advantage of Vermont’s Dual Enrollment Program.
The financial benefit of Dual Enrollment was a big reason why she decided to eventually enroll in UVM. But the precollege program also helped her realize that UVM was the right choice. “It reassured me that there were a variety of classes and people who I could see myself being a part of,” she says.
UVM’s precollege program also includes the Academically Talented High School Program benefit for out-of-state and instate high school students who have already utilized their two dual enrollment vouchers to receive a 50 percent academic year tuition reduction.
Liane Dobson, of Mendham, N.J. says UVM’s Summer Academy program was incredibly beneficial for her daughter, Gillian, currently a high school senior. While attending the program last summer, Gillian and her family agreed that UVM was the right choice for college.
“In our college search, the first step was narrowing down the size of the school — not too big, not too small – and then the geography. We toured UVM and loved it, and the precollege program was an excellent way to get a feel for the school and Burlington,” says Liane Dobson. “Gillian is now very comfortable with the idea of living in a dorm and navigating a campus. That’s priceless.”
Gillian Dobson is interested in studying business in college, and took an American Business course while attending Summer Academy last summer. “My experience at Summer Academy was an amazing one. Even though I was hundreds of miles away from home, I felt like I belonged. I loved the course I took and all the wonderful people I met from all over the world,” she says. “Going to the summer precollege program has confirmed that I will 100 percent be applying to go to UVM next year.”