Incoming freshmen attend an intensive 4-week summer residence pre-freshmen program called DDI Summer Experience. Of all the components in HEOP, students report that the summer pre-college program is the most valuable because it prepares each student for a smooth and successful transition to RIT in the fall. The summer program is an immersive experience that has a positive, transformative impact. Our approach in the summer program and throughout HEOP is to provide academic challenge within a resource-rich environment. We do not place students in remedial classes. Instead students take college credit classes and a non-credit college preparation classes/workshops. Professional and peer tutors, a computer lab and regular study hours provide a supportive, resource-based academic environment. By persevering through challenge in a caring community, students build confidence, resilience, and a determination to succeed academically.
During the summer program, pre-freshmen students live on campus in the dorms. All HEOP students live on the same floor with trained peer advisors who oversee the pre-freshmen students and study hours. During the day, students take credit and non-credit courses. College credit earned can be applied towards degree requirements. Peer and professional tutors assist students during evening study hours. Students have access to a computer lab but are also highly encouraged to bring their own laptop. On the weekends, students attend various cultural and social activities sponsored by RIT.
Throughout the summer program, HEOP counselors meet regularly with each student. HEOP counselors are professionals with experience working in higher education with low income students from diverse backgrounds. The counselors provide guidance, support and resources and can address academic, personal, social, financial, and career issues. Counselors will introduce students to staff in their respective academic departments. Additionally, students will meet with their financial aid counselor to discuss their financial aid package and complete any outstanding documents.
During the 4-week summer program, in addition to taking courses and meeting with their counselors, students build a strong community with the staff, peer advisors and amongst themselves. They become familiar with the campus and college life. They participate in fun weekend activities, including team-building, recreation, and a couple of off-campus adventures.
Pre-freshmen students should plan their summer calendar around the summer program dates. During the summer program, students remain on campus. Family vacations and doctor and dentist appointments should be scheduled either before or after the summer program dates. The Summer Program typically begins after the 4th of July and runs through early August.
The summer program is no cost to the student. Books and school supplies are provided as is food and housing. Students are encouraged to bring spending money for snacks or small personal purchases. Otherwise, everything is covered except transportation to and from home and campus.
In alignment with RIT's 2015-2025 Stategic Plan, HEOP will:
- Enroll low-income and underrepresented HEOP-elligble students in RIT's competitive programs of study, particularly in RIT STEM programs.
- Provide comprehensive support services to promote and sustain a culture of academic excellence for HEOP students, particularly female and male minority students.
- Engage, support and recognize HEOP students in their progress towards on-time degree completion.