Summer Academy medicine student Jeswin Antony

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More than Medicine. Summer Academy Course Teaches High School Students Skills Beyond Academics

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For Harwood Union High School junior Jeswin Antony taking a Summer Academy medicine course at the University of Vermont taught him more than just the workings of the medical laboratory field; he also learned a lot about himself. “I gained not just health and medicine skills, I gained time management, organization, and communication skills,” said Antony. “I could learn these things in high school, but I knew I could learn them to a better degree in the UVM class.” 

Antony gained skills that can transcend beyond his academics in an intensive 4-week online course taught by UVM Senior Lecturer in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Koela Ray. In the Biomedical Science and Human Disease course high school students become disease detectives and learn how to investigate and solve medical cases related to COVID-19, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Activities range from testing to identifying pathological microorganisms to analyzing the chromosomes and DNA from normal and cancer cells. For Antony the course opened his eyes to the essential work that laboratory technicians do as part of the medical team.

The 3-credit Summer Academy course is often taken by Vermont high school rising juniors and seniors through the Vermont Dual Enrollment Program. School counselors recommend courses at UVM in health and medicine, environmental sciences, and arts that can be utilized through the voucher system.

Vermont Dual Enrollment Fast Facts:

Under the Dual Enrollment program, high school students may apply for a voucher to enroll in classes at UVM to earn transferable college credit. Students can access up to two college courses with tuition fully reimbursed through a voucher system approved by their high schools.

  • A voucher covers the cost of tuition (up to four credits per voucher, up to two vouchers per student).
  • Courses are offered during the summer and academic school year, both on campus and online.
  • Vouchers are awarded on a semester-by-semester basis, and unused vouchers expire every semester (you can apply again).
  • Students must get approval for dual enrollment from their high school guidance counselor to ensure they receive high school credit.
  • If a student changes their mind and wants to attend a different college, the student needs to apply for another voucher.
  • If the student drops the course within the college or university’s published add/drop period, the voucher will not be applied, and it is available for use in a different semester.

Antony felt pretty good about completing his first college class while going into his junior year in high school. The credits he gained from the course can transfer and give him a head start on his college career. And the fact that his parents were super excited to see him take a college course, was a bonus. “My parents were happy and impressed because they didn’t have those opportunities when they were in high school. The voucher and just offering these courses to kids in high school, they were super impressed that I could actually take these.”

Antony hopes to keep going on his quest to learn more about medicine while in high school and is eyeing Summer Academy’s popular Health and Medicine course next summer.

Students who participate in UVM’s Summer Academy:

  • Stay intellectually engaged over the summer and avoid boredom
  • Are exposed to new ideas and perspectives
  • Explore topical content areas such as COVID-19 or the Global Climate Crisis through interactive online courses
  • Make new friends from around the country
  • Pay high school reduced tuition rates or utilize Vermont dual enrollment vouchers, which cover cost of tuition

Applications open each spring for UVM Summer Academy.